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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 166 - Wednesday, 26th September 2007
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Page 1 [What is happening lately in Ross-on-Wye? - Ross Phoenix Champions leave for Slovenia - An invite from the ACF]
Page 2 [The premiere of 'Poppy Appeal', an excellent play highlighting the dangers of drug abuse]
Page 3 [Soul for Michelle - Barbershop Concert - Brookend fight - Whitchurch burglary - What's Happening in Ross?]

Page 4

[Spar celebrate 50 years - Sofa, so good - League of Friends - Shopmobility success - Rugby - Weather Station]
Page 5 [Herefordshire County News - The Time Team digs Credenhill]
Page 6 [More Herefordshire County News]
Brave Katie wins 'Pride of Herefordshire' title

Sharon Gray, chair Herefordshire Partnership, overall Pride of Herefordshire winner Katie Llewellin and special guest, former jockey, Peter Scudamore, who lives in Herefordshire.

Katie Llewellin, 15 was named overall winner at the inaugural Pride of Herefordshire Awards, run by the Herefordshire Partnership in conjunction with the Hereford Journal.

Katie had earlier been named winner of the Herefordshire Courage Award for her actions in calming down two traumatized horses and a donkey on a dark night and prevented an accident from happening. She was nominated by her mother, Adele, who said, 'Katie quickly recognized the seriousness of the situation and rang the police on her phone.'

Katie and other category winners received trophies specially designed by artist blacksmith Ambrose Burne. The winners also received a cheque for 100. Finalists received certificates to mark their achievement.

Other finalists for the Courage Award were Esat Kurt, David Riley and the Flooding Response Group. The awards ceremony was held at the Three Counties, Hotel, Hereford, on Thursday, 20th September and other winners were.

Herefordshire Entrepreneur Award: Geoff Tunstall. Geoff runs Workmatch, a charitable company which runs a number of social enterprises in Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Leominster and Lugwardine, all providing jobs for disabled or disadvantaged people. Other finalists in this category were Clancy and Cathie Wilson, Zara Bignall, Valerie Santillo and Stuart Anderson.

Herefordshire Learner Award: Rachel Haskew. Rachel, 26, from Hereford successfully completed the European Computer Driving Licence at Herefordshire College of Technology despite suffering from cerebral palsy. Other finalists were Anneka Hulse, Gareth Powell and Debbie Payne.

Herefordshire Health Champion: Pauline Ovenden and Elizabeth Jones. These two ME sufferers who founded the Hereford ME group about 20 years ago and both support people to cope with problems caused by the illness. The other finalist was Dr Donald Langford.

Herefordshire Young Carer Award: Christopher Cole and Alan Evans, both volunteers with the St John Ambulance Cadets. The judges couldn't decide between these two young carers so they were given a joint award. Christopher, 15, helps to care for his sick mother and provide emotional support for his father. Alan, 15, helped to save his father's life and currently cares for three adults, including his father.

Herefordshire Environmental Champion: Maggie Eckley. Maggie started taking a keen interest in recycling some 15 years ago and has actively encouraged colleagues, friends and family to do the same. The other finalist was Beryl Bayliss.

Herefordshire Adult Carer Award: Denise Hannagan. Denise works for registered charity Open Door and even plays the role of Santa by making sure Christmas really happens for the homeless. Other finalists were Ted Vaughan, Thomas Gundy and John Bryant.

Herefordshire Youth Community Award: Ryan Holland. Ryan is the founder of the Leominster Flower Pot kids gardening club which involves many other local youngsters and has recently received a youth opportunity fund to help with their work. Other finalists were Zoe Williams and the Herefordshire Youth Funding Panel.

Herefordshire Youth Community Award winner Ryan Holland (centre) with award sponsors,
Asda Hereford Manager, David Copner and June Thurston, Asda Hereford events co-ordinator.

Herefordshire Adult Carer Award winner Denise Hannagan with award sponsors,
Asda Hereford man, and special guest Peter Scudamore.

Herefordshire Environmental Champion award winner Maggie Eckley with award sponsor
Alison Holmes, Managing Director of Reprodux, and special guest Peter Scudamore.

Herefordshire Young Carer award sponsors Don and Sue MacAskill from Beds and Mattresses
with joint winners Alan Evans and Christopher Cole.

Herefordshire Health Champion Award winner Elizabeth Jones with award sponsor Jon Argent, Chief
Executive of Halo Leisure. The joint winner of this award, Pauline Ovenden, was unable to attend.

Herefordshire Courage Award winner Katie Llewellin with award sponsor
Richard Maxfield, Managing Director and Business Unit Leader of Sun Valley.

Herefordshire Learner Award winner Rachel Haskew with Philip Round, chief executive
of award sponsors, Herefordshire Group Training Association.

Herefordshire Entrepreneur winner Geoff Tunstall (right) with Dave Preedy from award sponsors, Express Bathrooms.

Free Bus Travel Throughout England for Disabled and Over 60s

Holders of Herefordshire Council's concessionary bus passes for the over 60s and disabled people are being invited to apply for a new style bus pass that will allow free bus travel over a much wider area.

From 1st April 2008, the council's bus pass scheme will be linked with similar schemes to allow pass holders to travel on local buses throughout England. Outside of Herefordshire, the passes will be valid at off peak times and so will not be usable before 9.30am or after 11pm on Mondays to Fridays. However, free travel will continue to be available at all times within Herefordshire and on cross boundary journeys to and from all neighbouring counties.

To enable the scheme to work smoothly, new bus passes will be issued to a standard national design that can be recognized by bus drivers anywhere in the country. The new passes will be 'smartcards' and will be capable of being read automatically by bus ticket machines in those parts of England where the technology has been installed. This will ensure that the passes are recognized and will guarantee that pass holders receive the concessions to which they are entitled.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'The new style bus passes will allow pass holders to travel much more widely and will particularly benefit people who will now be able to use their passes when visiting friends and relatives or whilst on holiday in other parts of England. Similarly, Herefordshire will now become a more attractive destination for visitors from other parts of the country who will be able to use their own area's bus passes to benefit from free travel when visiting the county.'

Existing Herefordshire Council concessionary bus passes will be phased out once the new passes are in use and pass holders are being invited to apply for the new National Passes as soon as possible. People who already have a Herefordshire concessionary bus pass should obtain an application form from one of the council's Info Shops at Bromyard, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster, Hereford or Ross-on-Wye.

New Shop at St. Leonard's

Plans to change the use of the west part of the nave at grade II listed St Leonard's Church, Green Lane, Yarpole, into a village shop and post office were approved by members of Herefordshire Council's northern area planning subcommittee on Wednesday, 19th September. The shop will replace the current temporary arrangement of a portable building sited on land next to the Bell Inn car park. Permission for this expires in April 2009.

Bill Bloxsome, Herefordshire Council's conservation manager, said, 'The introduction of new uses into churches is generally to be welcomed and I consider the principle here to be very positive in bringing greater use to a building at the heart of the community.'

Three letters of objection were received and one in support. Yarpole Community Group Project sent a questionnaire to all households in the parish and 85 per cent of them were in favour. Any physical alterations to the church building would require separate planning permission and listed building consent.

Connect2 Day of Events

A day of events celebrating the benefits of walking and cycling is being held on Thursday, 27th September, as part of the national Connect2 day. Hereford's Connect2 scheme is a proposed footpath and cycleway which would link the city centre with Rotherwas and Holme Lacy.

The programme of events around the city is as follows:

8am: Meet at Pikadish, Rotherwas, for a bike breakfast for companies who will benefit from the Connect2 route.
9am: Wyebridge College students to take Connect2 banner to Shaw's Path ready for the official opening.
10am to 10.30am: official opening of Shaw's Path by Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation.
11.15am: South Wye Walking for Health group to walk from Goodrich Drive to the PCT at Belmont.
12.15pm to 1.15pm: PCT lunchtime walking group to walk from Belmont to the Asda store.
1pm: ASDA entrance reception for walkers from Belmont and Pedicab to take walkers back to St. Francis.
2pm: Dr Bike, Phil Prothero, at Hereford County Hospital with Hereford Wheelers before they set off to Holme Lacy
3pm: Welcome reception for Hereford Wheelers and steering group representatives at Holme Lacy primary school.

The Hereford scheme is one of 79 community based projects around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that make up Connect2. The Connect2 programme is an ambitious bid to the Big Lottery Fund who are offering a grant of up to £50 million for the Living Landmarks: The People's Millions competition.

Connect2 is being developed by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and aims to transform local travel and quality of life by making it easier to walk and cycle for local journeys. Nearly two thirds of all car journeys are for less than five miles and Connect2 will provide an alternative to those journeys by creating new walking and cycling routes and building bridges over rivers, railways and busy roads.

Cut Down on Junk Mail by Using Electoral Registration Service

Herefordshire Council's electoral registration services can help people to reduce the amount of junk mail they receive. Two versions of the register of electors, which is compiled in December each year, are now produced; the full register and the edited register. Forms are currently being sent to 80,000 households in the county and people are required, by law, to fill them in.

On the full register, everybody's name has to be included for electoral purposes, prevention and detection of crime, fraud and credit purposes. This register is not sold. It is supplied only to certain people and they are prevented from using the information for marketing purposes. The edited register, however, is sold to marketing companies so people must opt out of this if they do not wish to receive mail from companies that decide to purchase the register.

Colette Maund, Herefordshire Council's electoral registration services manager, said, 'It is important people make sure they opt out of the edited register if they do not want to receive marketing mail from companies. People only need to tick a box on their electoral register form to opt out.' This can also be done online at www.registerbyinternet/herefordshire or by calling 0800 1974915.'

Further information about the edited register scheme can be found on the reverse of the electoral registration form.

Timetable Agreed for Country's First Public Service Trust

A timetable for the development of the country's first public service trust arrangements has been agreed in Herefordshire. On Thursday, 20th September, the council and the Primary Care Trust approved a 'road map' and a new working framework, which includes the appointment of a new single chief executive for both organizations.

The concept of a Public Service Trust is designed to provide high quality, seamless services, develop services that are efficient and demonstrate value for money, retaining decision making on public services within Herefordshire. The council's cabinet and the Primary Care Trust board met separately to consider a recommended timetable. They each endorsed the appointment of a single chief executive to take the Public Service Trust forward. This could take place over the next few weeks.

It was also agreed that an interim public service trust board be set up by January, with public service trust arrangements formalized by September 2008. The result of the public consultation during the summer, in which 57 per cent of responses were in favour of a public service trust, paved the way for the next stage.

The public service trust proposal also takes into account the recommendations of the council's health scrutiny committee and the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority. The timetable has also been influenced by workshops undertaken with elected councillors from the council, non-executive directors of the primary care trust and personnel from both organizations.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the council, said, 'The Public Service Trust will support and improve the health, well being and prosperity of Herefordshire people, by bringing together the council and the primary care trust to share resources and integrate the way public services are planned and purchased. It is all about making sure that people are served by the two organizations in a seamless way in future, making life easier for people who use our public services, as well as improving efficiency and reinvesting savings back into those services.

Importantly, the new arrangements will ensure that people in Herefordshire will be making decisions about how services are provided within the county for the benefit of the people who live in the county.'

Joanna Newton, chair of the primary care trust commented, 'Both organizations recognize the cultural differences in arriving at a shared and integrated way of working, and have a strong track record of working together. The benefits of moving forward to establish new public service trust arrangements are evident. There is a real opportunity to make a material difference to the quality of life for people living in Herefordshire. The Primary Care Trust and council, as equal partners, have a strong common interest in achieving this.'

The agreed framework will allow further comprehensive analysis of the financial implications of the proposals and enable focus in the first instance to be on the commissioning of children's services, adult services and public health.'

Scrutiny Committee Backs Decision on Rotherwas Ribbon

Herefordshire Council's environment scrutiny committee, which called in a cabinet decision on the Rotherwas Ribbon archaeological find, debated and endorsed that decision on Monday, 24th September.

After a four hour debate, scrutiny members agreed with the original decision, made on Thursday, 6th September 2007 to protect the Ribbon, to explore opportunities for tourism and to safeguard jobs and businesses by allowing the new Rotherwas access road to go ahead.

Scrutiny also congratulated the county archaeologist Dr Keith Ray on the 'universally acknowledged standard and quality of his work on the Ribbon' and expressed the wish that he would be able to lead further research either side of the present archaeological find. The committee urged the cabinet to seek funding for further research into the Ribbon, including a scoping report into possibilities for tourism.

The committee heard that the council had made an application for funding to English Heritage, to enable further archaeological investigation of the presumed course of the Ribbon to North and South of the original course of the road. This would help define the extent and nature of the find and allow the council to consider further options to develop opportunities for tourism, heritage and education.

The scrutiny committee noted, however, that information flow within the council, during the 'purdah' period in the run up to the election and immediately following it 'fell short of that normally expected'. It recommended that work should be set in place to address for the future the problems presented by this period when cabinet and councillor roles were in a state of flux. Accusations that the council had 'kept the find secret from the public' were dismissed.

Councillor Bob Matthews, chair of the environment scrutiny committee, thanked all contributors to the debate, explaining that the committee had sought to achieve a balance in accommodating many strongly held views. The recommendations of the committee will now go back to the council's cabinet for further consideration.

The council's approval of the completion of the Rotherwas access road remains, which it says is essential for the completion of the 20 million Rotherwas Futures project, which in turn will transform the existing Rotherwas Industrial Estate, the county's key employment site housing 125 companies.

Welcomed by business, the project will include a flood alleviation scheme, create new jobs and help Herefordshire's economy to compete. The council stopped work on the Rotherwas access road around the Ribbon site earlier this year when the significance of the find was established. It announced the find to councillors and citizens in May 2007 through the council newsletter. Plans to protect the Ribbon were initially put on hold after popular demand to see it. Around 1,000 people were given escorted tours of the Ribbon during July. The council covered the site in August to protect it after archaeologists conducted a fingertip clean of the surface to carefully remove deposited silt.'

County's Primary Schools Improve National Test Results

Children in Herefordshire's primary schools are achieving higher standards in their education according to provisional key stage two results for 2007 which are the best the county has ever seen.

At the end of key stage two, when a child reaches the age of 11, they are assessed and awarded a level on the national curriculum scale. The tests check out their learning in English, maths and science and provide a baseline for their transition to secondary school. The target is for each child to achieve level four, although children who do particularly well can achieve level five.

The results show that this year, Herefordshire children performed above the national average. In English, 81 per cent of the children achieved level four or above and in line with the national average in mathematics, 77 per cent achieved level four or above. Performance at level five in all subjects is outstanding, both in terms of actual attainment and improvements.

Overall, there is a four per cent improvement on last year's results, with boys doing particularly well. Boys' performance in level five in English has shown a dramatic seven per cent improvement and a five per cent increase in mathematics, putting Herefordshire into the top 25 of local authorities nationally.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people, said, 'The council's school improvement team have been providing schools with lots of help and support with subject consultants helping targeted schools to raise standards. Congratulations to the staff, governors and pupils who have worked hard together to make sure our children's education not only meets, but exceeds national standards.'

School is Cool Campaign

Herefordshire Council is launching an innovative campaign to reduce the amount of pupil absences in the county's primary schools.

Government guidelines suggest that every child should have a minimum attendance rate of 97 percent. A number of the county's primary schools missed this target last year; two weeks absence brings an attendance rate down to 95 percent.

Many pupils fall behind because of the time they miss from school and some parents and carers don't realize how damaging even a few days out of school can be. Ninety percent attendance means a child is missing four weeks in the year, making it harder for them to make progress and reducing their chance of success. Eighty percent attendance means that over a child's school career, they will miss two whole years of education with a possibility that their parents will have to face court action.

In an attempt to make schools and parents aware of the problems associated with absenteeism, Herefordshire Council is launching a 'School is Cool' campaign. The campaign will be launched at Leominster Junior School on Monday, 1st October by a Cool Cat, whose name will be chosen by the children. Leominster Junior School is the first school in the county to volunteer to lead the scheme. The whole school will become involved in a range of activities such as assemblies, competitions, attendance monitoring and reward schemes, encouraging children to understand the importance of attending school and provide opportunities for them to talk about anything that prevents them from attending.

During the week long campaign, any children absent from school will receive a home visit from the education welfare service to identify the cause of absence and talk to children and parents about issues that may be affecting a child's desire to attend school, such as bullying or problems with transport.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people, said, 'Education is an important part of every child's development, both at primary and secondary school. Every school day counts and failing to attend, for whatever reason, can have a detrimental impact on a child's progress. The cool cats campaign is a fun way of highlighting the importance of attending school and the consequences of persistent lateness and absenteeism on a child's future prospects.'


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