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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 175 - Wednesday, 28th November 2007
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1

[Tina presents Wyenot News - The White Lion Otters return for Autumn - Victorian School days in Gorsley]

Page 2 [A Christmas floral demonstration - It's a Knockout - Special birthday gift for Kim - Tina needs your help . . .]
Page 3 [Dad Rock at the Prince of Wales - Letters - Lions' Chef Crisis - Christmas Menus - What's Happening in Ross?]

Page 4

[Letting their Art Out - The Hurleys sign books - Gua Africa Sponsored Walk - New Facilities - Rugby - Weather]
Page 5 [News from around Herefordshire]
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS

Arts and Craft Goods Stolen from garden Centre

Thousands of pounds worth of arts and crafts goods were stolen in a burglary at the Wyevale Garden Centre in Hereford when offenders broke into the outdoor covered area of the Kings Acre Road site over the night of 25th November.

A large number of stalls were set out as a craft fair was taking place over the weekend and some stock had been left behind in preparation. The stalls were being operated by independent small retailers and items taken include jewellery, wooden children’s’ toys and ornaments and accessories.

Among the more distinctive items stolen were Africa ‘Fairtrade’ products, including hand-painted Ostrich eggs and handmade and painted handbags (see photos below).

Police are keen to hear from anyone offered such items for sale - the stallholder is the only importer of the African goods, so they are not available elsewhere. They also want to hear from anyone who saw suspicious activity around the garden centre site at the weekend.

If you have information about this incident, please contact PC Katrina Bevis at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


Winter Gritting Leaflet Launched

The recent chilly conditions and snow experienced in Herefordshire is proof that winter is upon us. A guide detailing the roads in Herefordshire to receive winter gritting for 2007-2008 has been launched and copies of the free leaflet, containing maps of gritting routes as well as winter driving tips are being distributed to council Info Centres and libraries as well as a number of filling stations and garages throughout the county.

Around 930km (580 miles) of roads in the county, approximately 30 per cent of the road network, are given a precautionary salting whenever there is a risk of ice or snow causing dangerous driving conditions. In cold weather, other roads may be icy and, in prolonged freezing weather or snow, the council also carries out salting on important minor routes such as links to rural communities, regular public transport routes with daily frequencies and routes to within 500m of county schools.

Road conditions are monitored on a daily basis, using information from six automated roadside stations and the Met Office. Herefordshire Council spends around £650,000 per year on precautionary salting. Fifteen gritter lorries are used with the aim of having all the routes complete in two and a half hours.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said, 'Now the weather has turned colder, I want to reassure residents we try and pre-empt a cold snap by salting the roads to prevent the formation of potentially dangerous ice. The leaflet also contains tips on driving in winter such as allowing extra time for journeys and I would urge all drivers to follow these and make sure they are safe, whatever the weather.'

Gritting on trunks roads - the M50, A40, A49 and A465 from Belmont roundabout in Hereford towards Abergavenny is carried out by the Highways Agency through their agents AmeyMouchel and InterRoute.



Childrens Services in Herefordshire Meet National Targets

Children and young people in Herefordshire receive satisfactory services across the board and these services are getting better. That's the message from the regulatory body Ofsted, following an inspection team visit to the county in October.

The team spent a whole day talking to the council, the Primary Care Trust and other partners to assess how Herefordshire is performing against national targets. The inspectors concluded that overall, good contributions are being made to improving the educational achievement and health of children and young people.

The report issued by Ofsted on Tuesday, 27th November says that children have a good start in Herefordshire. The county has a higher proportion of mothers breast feeding than nationally and all schools are participating in the healthy schools programme. In particular, praise was given for the services provided for children and young people who are looked after, young offenders and those with learning difficulties or disabilities.

Areas for development include improving children and young people's dental health, although the report noted that the introduction of a fluoridation process is actively being considered.

Though children are safe there is a need for further improvement related to time scales for dealing with assessments. The number of referrals to social care services has increased significantly, and the council has developed a recruitment strategy in order to ensure there are sufficient social workers to manage this within recommended time scales Although good progress has been made over the last year, we are seeking to increase numbers further over the next 12 months in order to deal with this increased demand more effectively.

The Annual Performance Assessment relates to the period 2005-2006. Since then, some of the other areas identified for development have already been worked on: a family support strategy and a strategy to manage the 14-19 curriculum reform have already been drafted and are currently out for consultation.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Member for Children and Young people said, 'This is really good news for Herefordshire Council as it shows we are working well with our partners and beginning to see some important improvements which will help make our children and young people safe, happy, healthy and equipped to be able to make choices in life. However, we still have a long way to go. We particularly need to improve our performance management and make sure our systems are rigorous and robust. Integrating services such as some aspects of health and education makes sense, but it is difficult to achieve. Over the next year or so we are going to see some major changes taking place to the services we provide and the way we provide them.'



Entertainment Licences Approved for Youth Hostels

Applications for entertainment licences at two youth hostels in Herefordshire were approved by members of the regulatory subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday, 21st November. The applications were for the Leominster Youth Hostel, The Old Priory, Leominster, and Kington Youth Hostel, Victoria Street, Kington.

The licensable activities now allowed are plays, films, indoor sporting events, live music, recorded music, performance of dance and facilities for making music and dancing. Hours for activities are from midnight to midnight, seven days a week. Applications for the provision of late-night refreshments and supply of alcohol at both youth hostels were withdrawn.

Herefordshire Council's environmental health officer requested 12 additional conditions on both of the licences, to address the licensing objectives of public safety, public nuisance and to protect children from harm. Three further conditions were requested to address public nuisance, including one to say 'no entertainment, which wholly or partly contains amplified sound, shall be provided between 00.00 hours and 09.00 hours.' This condition does not, however, apply to background music or the use of DVD recorders.

Eleven letters of representation were received over the licence for Leominster Youth Hostel, expressing concerns about public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm. Two letters of representation were received against the Kington application, concerned about noise and antisocial behaviour.



Permission for New Homes and Country Park Refused

Planning permission for 69 homes and the delivery of Haywood Country Park on land at the rear of Mulberry Close, Belmont, Hereford, was refused by members of the central area planning subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday, 21st November. Members felt the scheme, which involved a single point of access from Mulberry Close, would have an adverse impact on the residential amenity of residents.

The scheme comprised a range of homes from two to four bedrooms and included six flats and 63 homes, 24 of which were to be affordable homes. Plans also included 7.8 hectares of land to be laid out as a country park. The park would have included informal pathways, links into the local cycle network and public footpaths. Viewing points, public art, a play area and a village green would also have been contained within the park, together with the planting of many specimen trees.

The Environment Agency raised an objection due to potential flooding. Belmont Rural Parish Council objected to the plans concerned at over development, the access route and lack of parking at the country park. Callow and Haywood Parish Council objected, concerned at over development, traffic and flooding.

Hereford City Council had no objections in principle to the development of the site, but expressed concerns about the access road and over development Wetsholme and Mulberry Action Group submitted a petition signed by 183 people concerned over traffic and parking. Twenty five letters of objection were received concerned at congestion, parking, over development and flooding.



Change of Use to Restaurant Approved

Plans for a change of use from a retail unit and private members club to a restaurant at No 48, St. Owen Street, Hereford, were approved by members of the central area planning subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday, 21st November.

Number 48, St Owen Street is a two storey, 17th century grade II listed building with a two storey 19th century extension at the rear. The buildings were formerly used as a retail unit and private members club but both of the units have recently been vacated.

The site lies within the Hereford city conservation area and permission was sought to change the use of the existing ground floor retail unit and first floor members club into a restaurant.

Sixteen letters of objection were received concerned at environmental disturbance, noise nuisance, late night antisocial behaviour and lack of parking facilities. Support in principle was expressed in two letters from The Castle Street and District Resident's Association and a resident in Cantilupe Street, subject to safeguarding the residential amenity of the area. Hereford City Council raised no objection.

Herefordshire Council's environmental health manager did not object to the scheme but felt conditions regarding ventilation and noise insulation could be improved. Planning permission was approved subject to conditions.



Application to Retain Marden Polytunnels Refused

Plans for the retention of polytunnels at Brook Farm and Nine Wells, Marden, Hereford, for S&A Davies have been refused by members of the Central Area Planning Subcommittee. Members refused the scheme because of its impact on the residential amenity of the area and landscape.

The two areas of polytunnels are on a combined area of 14.7 hectares and used for the growing of blackberries and raspberries in plastic grow bags, both as experimental crops. Raspberry plants are replaced every year while the blackberries are in their second year and expected to produce a crop for a further two to three years.

Herefordshire Council's Public Rights of Way officer objected to any covering of the the public right of way with polytunnel sheeting. Marden Parish Council wished to see a time limit set on any permission for the polytunnels. Thirty four letters of objection were received. Main points raised were the polytunnels being unsightly, run-off from fields causing flooding and the polytunnels being close to properties.

S & A Davies also had plans for the continued use of land as a caravan site and retention of an accommodation block for seasonal workers at Brook Farm, Marden, near Hereford, refused by the subcommittee at the meeting held on Wednesday, 21st November. Members refused temporary planning permission due to the scale of the development and its impact on local amenities.

The accommodation presently comprises 153 caravans, 98 pods and two accommodation blocks which, caters for a maximum of 1,400 workers. There are also various recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool, volley ball court, mini soccer pitch and hot tub. The site is subject to three temporary planning permissions which expired on Wednesday, 17th October 2007.

Marden Parish Council opposed any permanent permission for the site, preferring a time limited permission. They also wanted to see a stipulated maximum number of workers on the site to avoid overcrowding. Thirty letters of objection were received expressing concerns over increased traffic and noise from the site. S&A Davies, who own the site, told members of the committee there were no alternative options in the locality for housing the workers who need to be close to the agricultural operation.



Music Pool and Youth Service Fund Free Rap Sessions

Budding female rappers and DJs are invited to head down to Herefordshire Youth Services' Girls Group at Hinton Community Centre on Wednesday, 28th November and Wednesday, 5th December from 7-9pm.

Local music production company, Dubmerge will be providing music workshops to develop young women's rap writing and performance skills. 'I love it when Dave and Lofty come to girls' group,' member Liah Hughes said. 'We get to use the microphones and DJ decks and make our own CD's.'

The girls will learn how to write and perform their own raps and how to scratch and beat box. As the scheme is jointly funded by the council's youth service and the Music Pool, the sessions are free for young people. Hinton Boys will get the chance to do the same workshop on Monday, 10th December from 7-9pm at Hinton Community Centre. Boys and girls in Kingstone can try out their rap and DJing skills at workshops on Tuesday, 27th November and 4th December at the Old School Hall, Kingstone from 7-9pm. Young people in Madley can also enjoy this workshop on Thursday 6th December at the Village Hall in Madley.

Sarah Melia, Community Youth Worker, said, 'We have worked with Dubmerge before and they are fantastic. The young people thoroughly enjoy these sessions. It's a great way to make new friends, tap into your creative side and express yourself through music. We're delighted to be able to offer these workshops in a number of locations so that more young people can give these sessions a try.'

The workshops are open to young people between the ages of 11 and 19 and no previous experience is necessary. For further information or to reserve a place, ring Sarah Melia on 01432 383376, email smelia@herefordshire.gov.uk.



Council Plans to Increase Funding for Early Years Education

Herefordshire Council is keeping an eye on a pilot programme taking place in parts of neighbouring Worcester, which could lead to families receiving more free early years education for their three and four year olds.

At resent, nursery education funding is provided by the government to pay for three and four years olds to attend a nursery, pre-school or some specialized childminders for twelve and a half hours a week. The childcare provider offers the child early years education for this period of time and parents can access this free service for 38 weeks of the year.

Initially, the free sessions were for 33 weeks of the year, but this increased to 38 weeks 18 months ago. The government is aiming to increase the free entitlement to 15 hours a week by 2010. In the build up to this, a series of pilot projects are being undertaken across a small range of authorities, of which Worcestershire is one. The pilot includes increasing hours to 15 a week and funding provision for two year olds. The chosen authorities are receiving extra funding to allow them to do this.

Ros Hatherill, Early Years and Extended Services Manager, said, 'We are keen to see how things work out in Worcestershire, although the pilot is only operating in some parts of the county. The changes the government wants to make to nursery education funding nationally will help our children enjoy better futures. Herefordshire has some of the best childcare providers in the region and we have just celebrated a further 24 receiving quality awards for the work they do with children.

Having a good relationship with a locally established childcare provider and knowing your child is happy is very important to parents. We don't anticipate parents will want to unsettle their children and take them over the border to gain an additional two and a half hours for the period of the pilot scheme. Herefordshire Council wasn't approached by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to take part in the pilot, so we cannot offer the same provision as some areas of Worcestershire at the moment. We are keen to give parents access to the additional hours as soon as possible, but we are dependant upon government funding.'

The results of the pilot project will help the government decide how and when to phase in the next round of changes.



Connect2 Public Vote Starts Today

Online voting opens today, Wednesday, 28th November, for one of four projects to win £50m worth of Big Lottery Funding, including one scheme which will help Hereford.

The Sustrans Connect2 project, one of the four contenders, would give £350,000 towards a three mile walking and cycling scheme between Hereford and Rotherwas that will help cut city congestion, improve health for Herefordians and slash commuter times by up to 75 per cent.

One of 79 schemes nation-wide that make up the Connect2 bid, the Hereford scheme exploits an existing Welsh Water bridge over the river and ultimately offers a safe and environmentally friendly route out as far as the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Holme Lacy. The scheme has widespread support from local residents groups, local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, walking and cycling groups, the PCT and local health groups. Rotherwas firms are also making computers available to staff to enable them to vote online.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and transportation said, 'I would urge all people in the county to make sure they vote for Connect2 because this scheme will make a huge difference to Hereford by helping to reduce congestion.'

One online vote per email address will count. Telephone voting, which will be at the local call rate will be verified by the caller's ID so to be sure your vote counts please check it's not hidden. Because of this, calls from switchboards will count as one vote.

No money will be made by the Big Lottery Fund or ITV1 from the calls. You can vote for Connect2 online now at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk TV presenter Lorraine Kelly will be presenting the Connect2 case after the ITV1 late evening news on Tuesday, 4th December. Telephone voting begins on Friday, 7th December. All voting closes at noon on Monday, 10th December.

To register for a reminder to vote text Connect2 to 80010 or go online to www.sustransconnect2.org.uk where there are also ecards you can send to friends and family to spread the word. The winning scheme will be announced on Wednesday, 12th December.



Easier to Recycle with Freecycle

Herefordshire Council's waste prevention team is praising members of Freecycle who are reducing the amount of waste being dumped in landfill sites by reusing their goods.

Freecycle members in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are helping to prevent around 500 tonnes of waste each year ending up in landfill sites, according to recent analysis. Hundreds of residents have taken advantage of local Freecycle groups to either rehouse unwanted items or to get something for free.

Chris Atkinson, project development officer for reuse said, 'Using the Freecycle website is a fantastic and convenient way to find someone who can put your junk to good use. It's really pleasing to see how word is spreading about this site, which is actively supported by Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council. Residents who choose to log on and share their items with others are not just doing a good deed, but also helping to reduce the amount of household items being sent to landfill.'

Items advertised on the site range from furniture, electrical equipment, fish tanks, rowing machines and pianos to smaller items such as books, tools and clothing. More unusual items can often be seen on the site such as building rubble, timber, cardboard and even plants. The main rule to the website is that everything advertised is free and legal.

For further information about Freecycle, visit www.freecycle.org. Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council support reuse initiatives as part of their waste prevention strategy.

People wanting to find out more about reuse initiatives should call 01905 768883 or visit www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk.



Opportunity to Make Christmas Gifts at Hereford Library

Herefordshire Learning Champions are offering people a chance to both learn a new skill and make some gifts for Christmas at a special drop in event being held on Wednesday, 5th December at Hereford Library.

The event will take place in the Woolhope Room and will run between 10am and 2pm. Those attending will have the opportunity to make a small gift or Christmas decoration from wire, beads or felt.

Karan McKelvie, Herefordshire Council Learning Champion said, 'This session offers an opportunity for people attending to learn some useful craft skills as well as making something which can be useful for Christmas.'

No booking is required and all tuition and materials are free.



Museum to Display Treasures From Christmas Past

Charming treasures from Christmas past will be on display at a special event being held at the Museum Resource and Learning Centre in Friar Street, Hereford.

'Box of Delights' will take place on Friday, 21st December and will run between 11am until 3pm offering visitors the chance to see toys and games, presents for him and her and other sparkly things. People are welcome to drop in any time between 11am and 3pm, however, children must be accompanied.

Judy Stevenson, Herefordshire Council's Collections and Access officer, said, 'This will be a wonderful opportunity for people to see how past generations celebrated Christmas with toys, games and gifts that are very different to the ones we enjoy today. Christmas is a wonderful time to think about others and this event offers a chance to explore the real meaning of the festive season.'



French Market Returns to Hereford This Week

If you're looking for a Christmas present with a difference, you need to hotfoot down to Hereford's refurbished High Town this week. On Thursday, 29th November, the successful travelling French Market is set to return to Hereford city centre for a four day special.

The French Market consists of Marché de France, a team of French traders from Normandy, who offer shoppers a unique experience with something to entice all tastes and is an ideal time to buy some different gifts for Christmas. There will be a magnificent cheese lorry, sausages and salamis will be on offer at the wonderful Charcuterie and delectable varieties of bread will be baked on site at the bread stall.

An 'apple-icious' stall, direct from Normandy will be selling three types of cider, real apple juice, Calvados and Pommeau. Other mouth-watering goodies include, fresh pralines and crepes made on site, olives, a patisserie, wine from a French producer, smoked ham, pate and duck and goose products.

The market is not just for foodies, though. There will also be handbags, wallets, toys, clothes, French house décor and much, much more. The markets will run from 9am - 5pm from Thursday, 29th November to Sunday, 2nd December.



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