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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 160 - Wednesday, 15th August 2007
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 [Dark Side of the Moon at Jamstand]
Page 2 [Ross Horticultural Show - Man dies on the A40 at Whitchurch]
Page 3 [Lucus Family Cares- Perseids and Shuttle - Tina Dancing - Little Sister - Bands in the Park]

Page 4

[More Jamstand - What's happening in Ross this week]
Page 5 [Friday at the Hope - Duck Colouring - Let's go fly a kite - Video change - New look Jacqueline's - Letters - Weather]
Page 6 [Herefordshire County News]
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS

Still time to enter 40th Anniversary Poster Competition

There is still time for artistic youngsters to put their talents to work in a special competition to help celebrate 40 years of policing in Herefordshire. West Mercia Constabulary is 40 years old this year and as part of the celebrations is asking young people to produce posters to promote a variety of aspects of police work, with prizes for the best entries up for grabs.

The closing date for the competition is Saturday, 25th August, so there is still time for youngsters to put their thinking caps on before putting pen, paintbrush or pencil to paper. If you are between 3 and 11 years old then you can enter one of the categories. We are looking for some original designs about the following topics:

  • Partners and Communities Together (PACT) - the process by which the police and its partners engage with communities directly to solve problems for local people.
  • Antisocial Behaviour.
  • Policing, Past and Present.

Your posters can be in paints, pencils, felt-tips or crayons but should be no bigger than an A4 size of paper. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories: 3 - 5 years, 6 - 8 years and 9 - 11 years. Put your name, age, address and a contact number on the back and post them to the address below to arrive no later than Saturday, 25th August.

And it’s not just 40 years of local policing which is being celebrated by the competition, but the opening of Leominster’s new police station on Enterprise Way, offering a unique opportunity to look round an operational police station. The best entries from the poster competition will be displayed during the activity-packed Open Day, which takes place on Saturday, 8th September from 10.30am to 4pm, when the lucky winners will be announced and prizes awarded on the day.

Posters should be sent direct to the event organizers: Eden Solutions, Flat 1, 329 Kings Acre Road, Hereford, HR4 0SL.


PC Jennifer Richards and PC Alan Tobey watch as Caitlin Clarke and
Henry James Turner prepare their entries to the competition.

Trading Standards Save Customers from Rogue Trader

Officers from Herefordshire Council's trading standards service have responded to complaints about a rogue trader operating in the Ledbury area and saved consumers paying out more than £10,000 for shoddy work.

A consumer contacted trading standards after entering into a £5,000 contract with itinerant workers to carry out block paving works. She said she had no money to pay and was told she had a month to find the cash. However, the workers then demanded she paid the full amount in cash the next day.

With back up from the police, officers of the trading standards service visited the consumer and were able to arrest five individuals, four adults and one 14 year old, in Ledbury's High Street. During the arrests, an 82 year old man approached trading standards officers. He had just collected £2,800 in cash from the bank to pay the same itinerant workers and was advised not to pay. Officers also found out the same workers had carried out poor quality work for an 86 year old in another part of Ledbury but in this case, the bill had already been paid.

The van belonging to the workers was seized and a contract was found for £2,700 for some work to be carried out in Leominster. The customer had not paid the bill and was advised not to. Two of the men arrested were released on police bail, another was wanted by police as he had failed to answer bail for theft and the other man and boy were released.

Andrew Tector, Herefordshire Council's head of environmental health and trading standards, said: 'Unfortunately we still get rogue traders operating in the area and we would reiterate our advice to people to only use workmen they either know or who have been recommended to them. In this instance we have saved householders from paying out £10,500 for shoddy work and I would stress residents should never pay for any work until they are fully satisfied with the quality of it. If anyone has any similar problems, they should contact trading standards officers for advice.'



Special officer says goodbye after 36 years

The man in charge of Herefordshire’s Special Constabulary is hanging up his hat and taking a well-earned retirement - after almost 36 years of service.

Commandant Len Dykes first joined the Specials in October 1971 at the old Gaol Street police station in Hereford. He had previously served with the Auxiliary Fire Service working on the ‘Green Goddesses’ until the service was disbanded in 1968. The Specials provided another way for Len to continue his public service.

'I can still recall that first day, arriving at the station to be greeted by the Sergeant and invited in,' said Len, whose years of service have seen him standing in floodwaters on Belmont roundabout directing traffic, organizing the policing of the Mayfair and Remembrance Sunday parades, as well as being actively engaged with Neighbourhood Watch. 'I also have many happy memories from the years we were based at South Wye Police Station, working with the late Sergeant Bob Wilson'.

Len has worked his way up the ranks in the Special Constabulary over the years, being promoted to Section Officer in 1981 and then Sub-Divisional Officer in 1987 before becoming Commandant for Herefordshire in 2000. In his ‘day job’ he worked at Herefordshire College of Technology for some 31 years.

Said Len; 'The police service has changed tremendously over the years and I am pleased now that specials are just as much seen as part of front-line policing as regular officers. We are there to support and provide back up to regular officers and not to replace them, but we have just the same powers as regulars and can often bring some extra knowledge and experience from our other work outside of the police.'

Joining the ranks of the specials proves a very rewarding experience for many people and opens up all sorts of opportunities. Over the last three years we have seen 18 officers leave the specials and join the regulars, both for this Force and others - so we must be doing something right!' he joked.

For his dedication to the Special Constabulary, Len is a past winner of the High Sheriff’s Trophy, with his nomination citing him as a 'focal point for younger specials, providing advice and support wherever necessary. Always smartly turned out, he is a good example to all specials and portrays an excellent image to the public.'

Len won’t however be leaving the police behind entirely when he hands back his uniform - he is continuing to work as a handyperson for the Division and could last week be seen helping staff move equipment to the new Leominster Police Station.



Ancient Book Nominated for Modern Technology Prize

An historic Herefordshire treasure has been short listed in a prestigious national competition after being nominated by the county's libraries service. The British Library's 'Hidden Treasures Brought To Life' competition asked public libraries to nominate books from their area to be digitized using the British Library's Turning the Pages 2.0 software.

Herefordshire Libraries nominated a 13th century legal manuscript from Hereford Cathedral which has numerous beautiful and fantastic illustrations. The book is one of ten to have been chosen for the England short list There will be one winner from each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which will be announced at an awards ceremony at the British Library in London on Tuesday, 4th September. If the Herefordshire entry wins, high quality images of selected pages, together with explanatory text, will be made available via the Herefordshire Libraries website.

A diverse range of items have been chosen for the short list, including one of the most substantial collections of Old English poetry and a Dorset Women's Institute record book from the Second World War. The manuscript chosen was given to Hereford Cathedral in the late 15th century and has been part of the famous library ever since. It was part of a bequest from Owen Lloyd, a priest who it is supposed gave his books because he had neglected his cathedral duties while he was alive.

James Anthony, Principal Libraries Officer for Herefordshire Council, said, 'Being chosen for the short list is wonderful news for Herefordshire. This is one of the many treasures both modern and ancient to be discovered in libraries around the county and a great example of the benefits of public libraries working closely with other organizations.'

Nick Baker, Hereford Cathedral Librarian, said: 'I am delighted that one of the Library's medieval manuscripts has been short listed for this competition. The Cathedral is committed to increasing access to its historic collections and if we win, many across the county will be able to discover more about this wonderful treasure.'



New green courier service for files

Herefordshire Council's Modern Records Unit is trialling the use of a new green courier service. The team of cyclists who run Hereford Pedicabs taxi service, now have Pedicargo vehicles, which Herefordshire Council will be using throughout August and September to transport planning files requested by members of the public. This will mean any member of the public contacting the council to request a planning file will be able to view the information the same day, as long as they call before 10.30am each weekday morning.

On one of their routes, Pedicargo vehicles will take planning files twice a day between the Modern Records Unit, the Hereford Centre at Garrick House and Planning Services at Blueschool House in Hereford. Planning officers in Blueschool House can also have files delivered the same day or can send current files for viewing at the Hereford Centre.

Continued . . .


Herefordshire Council's Head of Highways and Transportation, Will Vaughan from Hereford Pedicargo and Anthony Sawyer, Senior Archivist from Herefordshire Council's Modern Records Unit, by one of the Pedicargo vehicles.

Will Vaughan and Ben Matthews, who run the Pedicargo business, are aiming to provide a sustainable, pedal powered, zero emission cargo service to businesses and the local authority in Herefordshire, which will operate under their core values of keeping things fun, green and honest. Supported by Herefordshire Council's Integrated Transport Team, there are plans for the Pedicargo service to be extended to other businesses in Hereford. The Pedicargo service is offering free trials for Hereford businesses during August and September.

With the backing of Herefordshire Council's sustainable transport team, the Pedicabs will also be advertising the council on their Pedicargo vehicles, which will have a secure container for transporting boxes of documents. Pedicargo riders are able to haul up to a quarter of a ton on their specialist bikes. The cycle networks allow quick and efficient access to council buildings and many industrial estates, enabling them to bypass the problems of road congestion in Hereford.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said, 'In Hereford we have a good network of cycle routes and if the Pedicargo service can take advantage of some of these then it will not only make their journeys quicker but also be kinder to the environment. We will be looking at this trial carefully and hoping the service can then be extended to other council departments'.

Although Herefordshire Council is trailling this scheme, it is hoped other Hereford-based companies will use the Pedicargo service, which is not only a cost effective same day courier service but also helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Will Vaughan said, 'Not only can we do quick, efficient, same-day delivery, but we can reduce the cost to a business of sending a member of staff across town with a parcel, thus increasing productivity while providing an environmentally friendly way of transporting goods.' The Pedicargo service is now offering free trials to businesses in Hereford. Any companies interested are asked to contact Will Vaughan on 07718320195 or email will@herefordpedicabs.com. No money or valuables will be carried on the Pedicargo vehicles.


Pedicargo operator Will Vaughan.

Council Makes Light Work of Car Park Improvements

Motorists visiting Hereford City centre will benefit from new lighting which is about to be installed in the car park beneath the Maylord Shopping Centre. The work, which is being carried out by local contractors Melcon, will take approximately three months to complete.

'This is good news for shoppers, particularly as the work will be completed in time for Christmas shopping,' said Councillor Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation. 'This will be the first total refurbishment of the car park lighting system since it was opened 20 years ago, in October 1987. To make sure that the lighting improvements create the minimum disruption to car park users, I've arranged for the work to take place between 6pm and 6am.'

Work was due to begin on Monday, 13th August.



Saturday Crafts return to Hereford High Town

Following the success of the first Saturday Craft Market in Hereford High Town, buyers at the next market on Saturday, 8th September will have even more hand made crafts to choose from. Organized by Herefordshire Council's Cultural Services, this second of a series of four Saturday markets will see the number of stall-holders expand to more than twenty, offering a broad range of affordable, unique and original work from local craft makers.

To coincide with Herefordshire Art Week's h.Art Open Exhibition at the Museum & Art Gallery in Broad Street, and the Hereford Cathedral Festival of Flowers, this Saturday Market will see the city a vibrant and colourful cultural centre.

Steve Boffy, the market co-ordinator, said, 'I am really pleased to see this market doing so well. I've spoken to so many nice people and met some really interesting artists, it's great to work with such high quality and do something that will make a difference'.

A pre-Christmas and Valentine market are also in the planning, making High Town, Hereford a gallery for county talent. So, whether it's a one-off piece of jewellery, a gorgeous piece of hand blown glass, or a carefully stitched and textured rug - perhaps a piece of ironwork for the garden, or a hand carved wooden bowl; whatever your taste, you can browse, chat, commission or purchase hand made craft in the heart of the city all day, from 9am until 5pm.

If you would like more information you can call Steve Boffy on (01886) 880125, or e-mail sboffy3@aol.com

Jenni Stuart-Anderson rag rug.
Karlin Rushbrooke scent bottle.
Louise Chesshire stud earrings.

Temporary Road Closures

As part of works being carried out to create a 20mph zone outside St Thomas Cantilupe School in Hereford, temporary road closures on the city's Widemarsh Street and Coningsby Street are to be enforced.

The temporary road closures will ensure road resurfacing can be carried out safely and the contractors will be working on several evenings in Coningsby Street and on one Sunday in Widemarsh Street. Widemarsh Street will be closed from its junction with Blackfriars Street to its junction with Newmarket / Blueschool Street.

The road closure Order will come into force on Sunday, 19th August 2007 and will remain for a period of five days. However, it is expected that the Order will only remain operative on Sunday, 19th August for a period of one day between the hours of 8am and 4pm.

The road closure Order for Coningsby Street will come into force on Monday, 20th August 2007 and will remain for a maximum period of five days. However, it is expected that the Order will only be operative for a period of four days between the hours of 6pm and 11pm.

People with any queries about the temporary road closures should call Herefordshire Council's help line on 01432 261800. Work started on the school's 20 mph zone in Widemarsh Street and Coningsby Street on 23rd July 2007.



Big Annual Book Sale

Herefordshire Council's libraries service is holding its big annual book sale on Saturday, 18th August at the Shirehall, Hereford, from 9.30am until 1pm.

Items for sale will include ex library non-fiction, fiction, large print and children's books together with spoken word tapes, CDs, videos and DVDs. Volunteers from the Hereford Library User Group will be helping at the sale. Money raised from the annual book sale will be used to improve the book stock at the county's libraries.

Carolyn Huckfield, senior stock librarian, said, 'This annual book sale is always popular with the public, enabling them to stock up on some bargains as well as helping the libraries make room for new stock which will improve the range of new books on offer in the future.'



Council to Take Action on Racecourse Earth Barriers

Herefordshire Council is to take action against Hereford City Sports Club to remove earth bunds that the club had built without authority around football pitches on Hereford racecourse. However, the council acknowledges that the cost of the removal could become a barrier to the work being carried out, so it has announced it is willing to cover the initial cost of the work and will seek to recover these costs from Hereford City Sports Club over several years.

'The unauthorized bunds first appeared on the racecourse in 2005. The club applied for retrospective planning permission for the earth barriers, but this was turned down,' said Malcolm MacAskill, Head of Asset Management and Property Services at Herefordshire Council. The club appealed against that decision, which was considered by an independent Inspector. However, the council learned on Friday that the inspector has rejected the club's appeal.

'We've written to the club announcing our intention to enforce planning regulations, which will mean the removal of the bunds,' said Malcolm. 'We're aware of the important role the club plays in the city and we realize that the cost of removing the barriers could cause the club financial difficulties. As a result, we've offered to carry out the work on the club's behalf and allow the club to pay us the costs over the next few years.'



Herefordshire's Plans for a Public Service Trust Under Scrutiny

A meeting of Herefordshire Council's health scrutiny committee took place on Tuesday, 14th August and they welcomed the principle of further exploration of the creation of a public service trust, which aims to improve services, provide better value for money and safeguard services locally in Herefordshire.

The views of the committee are a key part of the democratic process surrounding the innovative proposal to bring together the way local services are planned and purchased. Its role includes helping to ensure the accountability and transparency of any decisions taken by the council. Senior officers from the primary care trust and the council faced over two and a half hours of focussed and robust questions at the hands of the committee, chaired by recently elected Councillor Dr Kay Swinburne.

The committee endorsed further integration of how the primary care trust and the council work together so that they may more effectively deliver better services for the citizens of the county. They supported the appointment of a single chief executive for both organizations, stressing the need for a rigorous selection process to get the best possible candidate. The new chief executive's first task should be to deliver integrated services as a priority, said the committee.

The committee also wants to review the structure of the public service trust as it develops and has recommended external assessment of the financial implications and a robust financial model to be developed. They were reassured on the compatibility of information technology and recommended a joint accommodation strategy to bring the two organization together. However, the timetable for the creation of the public service trust was viewed to be 'optimistic and over ambitious' in the light of: the need to accommodate staff, changing legislation nationally, the various reviews into health and local government funding and the need for more clarity in how health services are purchased and provided.

The committee heard that a public consultation into the proposals for new public service trust arrangements has resulted in 57 per cent of responses being in favour of new public service trust arrangements, with 40 per cent against. There were 218 separate submissions of views, many from voluntary organization and community groups representing patients and customers, as well as interested individuals. The health scrutiny committee noted the extensive public consultation and the helpful comments of organization but regretted that there was not wider engagement from the public.

The committee's recommendations are to be submitted to the primary care trust board and the council's cabinet, which together will make a final decision on the public service trust proposals in September. They will also consider how the new arrangements could be financed, managed and implemented and will take into account the results of the public consultation.

Chair of the health scrutiny committee Councillor Dr Kay Swinburne said: 'I am grateful to my colleagues on the committee for the way they structured their questions and probed and teased out the key concerns we had about the proposals. I would also thank senior officers from the primary care trust and the council for the positive way they responded to our questions. This enabled us to put forward some strong and clear recommendations for how we move towards more integrated public services for the benefit of the people of Herefordshire.'

The impetus to consider developing an enhanced partnership between the two organization began early in 2006 after the government proposed reorganizing primary care trusts in England. Herefordshire was to retain a primary care trust on the understanding that it and the council would work together to achieve a more integrated approach to public services. A key aim is to achieve better value for money and ensure efficiencies are reinvested directly in local services and safeguard the future of those services in the county.

The proposals to create new public service trust arrangements, working more closely with the voluntary sector, have been discussed in the public domain since October 2006 and a public consultation took place from 12th June 2007 to 31st July 2007.

For further information, please call Herefordshire Council on 01432 260006.



Police Warn Residents After Two Distraction Burglaries

Police in Herefordshire are appealing for information following two distraction burglaries in the county and repeating their advice to householders to always check for proper identification before letting doorstep callers into homes.

The two burglaries happened in Ledbury and Hereford during the afternoon of Monday, 13th August, in which bogus callers posing as ‘water board’ officials called at the homes of elderly people and carried out searches of the premises while the householders were distracted. On both occasions the men claimed that they were conducting work in the area.

In the Hereford incident, which took place at a house in Brampton Road, the elderly householders heard a noise and found a man standing at the rear of the property. He said he was from the water board investigating a burst pipe and needed to check the water supply for discolouration. He spent some time checking taps in the kitchen and bathroom before the victims discovered a second man in the living room, apparently making a search. Both men were asked to leave and ran away through the back garden.

The same afternoon in Queensway in Ledbury, a man called at a house and again claimed to be from the water board and carrying work out in the area. Access was granted to the house and the man made a play at checking the stopcock, before inviting the elderly householder into the back garden where he claimed a trench would need to be dug.

After around 15 minutes the victim saw a second man standing by the kitchen door. When challenged, he said he was ‘looking for his work mate’ and the two men left. The victim then discovered that the house had been searched and a substantial amount of cash stolen.

Police are linking the two incidents, although it is unclear at this stage whether the same offenders carried out both. In the Hereford burglary, the men were said to be white and wearing fleece jackets and woolly beanie hats. One of the men had a goatee and the other wore fawn coloured workman’s boots. The only description of the men from the Ledbury incident is that they were white and were wearing dark coloured clothes. They may also have been using in a white van.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen these men on Monday afternoon or who has had similar doorstep callers in recent days.

PC Charles Naylor, Herefordshire Division’s Crime Risk Manager, said: 'It is important that people remember that there is no such thing as the ‘water board’ and that all officials from utility companies carry proper identification. This should always be checked properly before letting any unannounced callers into your home. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, for example, issues its staff with identity cards bearing their Bogus Caller Helpline number. Anyone wishing to verify the identity of the caller claiming to be from Welsh Water should telephone 0800 281 141 to check with this helpline and make sure the caller is who they say they are.

Welsh Water, in common with many utility companies, also operates a password system, whereby its customers can choose a special password which will be given to staff when they need to visit, offering an additional measure of protection.' For its part, West Mercia Police is doing all it can to raise awareness of the simple steps people can take to avoid becoming a victim of bogus callers through its ‘Knock Knock’ campaign. Tips to keep you safe are available from the force website, while a crime prevention leaflet has also been produced for distribution to vulnerable members of the community.

PC Naylor added: 'People should not be afraid to ask callers for identification. If they are not convinced the caller is genuine they should call and check with the company concerned. A legitimate caller will not mind waiting outside while you check their identification out properly. If you are in any doubt do not let them into your home.'

Bear the following advice in mind, it could help to reduce the chance of a distraction burglary happening to you or others in your neighbourhood:

Don’t keep large sums of money in your home Keep an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously. Encourage vulnerable neighbours to keep their door on a chain and to check a caller’s identity card carefully.
Trust your instincts. If you have any doubt about a caller’s identity don’t let them in.
Call 08457 444888 to provide information to the police about suspicious people, activity or vehicles however insignificant it may seem.
If a distraction burglary has taken place or been attempted, encourage the victim to report it as quickly as possible. Bogus callers and ‘rogue traders’ should also be reported to Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards department on 01432 260761.

For further information about preventing distraction burglaries and West Mercia’ Knock Knock campaign please visit the force website www.westmercia.police.uk. Anyone interested in obtaining an ‘In doubt? - Keep them out!’ advice leaflet or requiring an Additional Services Pack to register for the password scheme can call the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water freephone publications helpline number on 0800 052 0138.

Information about either of the distraction burglaries in Hereford or Ledbury or details of similar incidents in the county, should be reported to officers at the Volume Crime Unit in Hereford CID on 08457 444888.


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