place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 176 - Wednesday, 5th December 2007
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS
pubs voice their approval for retail radio
Peter Askwith shows off the new retail radios and posters to Severn
Stars landlady Nikki Baker
and Talbot Hotel landlord Andy Ward.
successful retail radio scheme has expanded to include the
town’s major public houses - making life for troublemakers
and criminals even harder. The scheme sees shops and public
houses joined together by handheld radios with each other
and to Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership’s
CCTV control room and officers at Ledbury Police Station.
means that shops and pubs can communicate with each other
when trouble arises, as well as alerting the CCTV controllers,
who can focus the camera network on the situation. This
in turn can help guide police towards offenders as well
as helping to ensure that crucial evidence is captured to
bring the offenders to justice.
scheme has already proved highly effective - in recent weeks
there have been two incidents in which calls for attention
over the radios have helped police make six arrests for
shoplifting offences in the town centre. In one case the
offenders made off in a car and, thanks to the efforts of
store security guards passing details to the CCTV control
room, the vehicle was tracked to Ross-on-Wye, where the
occupants were stopped and arrested a short time later.
All six people arrested were subsequently charged with a
variety of shoplifting offences and a number of stolen goods
extending the radio network to the pubs in the town centre,
it ensures that the night-time economy is also sharing in
the benefits. By connecting through the radio networks,
pubs can monitor troublemakers and alert police, which can
in turn help prevent more serious incidents from developing
and should also produce a great deterrent to offenders.
system is a great additional tool which will help landlords
and police to ensure Ledbury remains a safe and enjoyable
place to socialize,' said PC Peter Askwith, Local Policing
Officer for the town. 'We have seen how effective the radio
network has been in recent weeks with the existing retailers
being able to alert us to shoplifters and, with the help
of the CCTV cameras, we have been able to make quick arrests.
Now, with the addition of many of the town’s pubs to the
scheme, it can only become even better and help us to combat
the small minority of people who engage in theft, disorder
and criminal damage within the town'.
addition of the pubs to the scheme also ties in neatly with
Operation Christmas Presence, West Mercia Constabulary’s
annual festive season campaign against alcohol-related disorder
and antisocial behaviour. By highlighting that pubs and
retailers are in communication direct with each other, the
CCTV network and the police, it is hoped this will further
discourage poor behaviour and allow everyone to enjoy the
build up to Christmas and the New Year.
coloured posters have been produced and are on display throughout
the town centre to further reinforce the message that offenders
will be monitored and have action taken against them. Additional
members to the retail radio scheme are always welcomed -
retailers or publicans wanting to know more should contact
PC Askwith at Ledbury Police Station.
Bus Timetable Released
of bus services in the county over the Christmas and New
Year period have been released.
normal timetable providing a full evening service will operate
on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with Herefordshire now
being one of the few areas of the country where buses do
not finish earlier than normal on these nights. No
buses will run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and the remainder
of Christmas week will see a Saturday timetable operating
on city services in Hereford, with a normal "Monday to Friday"
timetable on country services.
Day" services that would have run on Tuesday, 25th December
or Wednesday, 26th December will be operated on an alternative
day during that week. Unlike many other parts of the country
where no buses operate, there will be a Sunday level of
service in Herefordshire on New Year's Day and bus services
will return to normal on Wednesday, 2nd January 2008.
Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for
Highways and Transportation said, 'The fact our bus timetable
for the festive period includes a full evening service on
the main party nights of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
and a Sunday service on New Year's Day offers people in
the county plenty of choice in how they travel around during
this busy period. We urge people to use public transport
and leave their cars at home over the festive period and
our timetable will help people plan how to get home after
their nights out.'
details of timetable changes over the Christmas period are
contained in a special leaflet issued by Herefordshire Council
and available from libraries, Tourist information Centres
and Council Info Shops throughout Herefordshire as well
as being downloadable from the Public Transport pages of
the council's website www.herefordshire.gov.uk.
Apply for New Bus Pass
Senior citizens throughout Herefordshire, as well as many
disabled people have been applying for the new English National
Bus Pass from Herefordshire Council. The new pass will come
into use on April 1, 2008 and the current Herefordshire
Council local bus pass will be discontinued shortly afterwards.
date, more than 8,000 applications for the new pass have
been received at council offices and it is hoped to have
helped all existing pass holders to apply for their new
pass by the end of January.
Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for
highways and transportation said, 'We are very grateful
to everyone who has come forward so far to submit an application
for their new bus pass. It is, however, vital that everyone
currently entitled to free bus travel applies for a new
pass before the end of January so that we can ensure that
everyone receives their new pass in time. However, everyone
should be aware that all passes are scheduled to be sent
out in March 2008.'
council is currently concentrating on ensuring that all
existing pass holders have applied for their new passes
before new applicants are invited to apply. The new English
National Concessionary Bus Pass will allow anyone over 60
as well as many disabled people, to travel free of charge
on local buses throughout England at off peak times as well
as at all times of day within Herefordshire.
is no charge for the pass and application forms are available
from all Herefordshire Council Info Shops or from the Public
Transport pages of the Council's website www.herefordshire.gov.uk.
Further information about the new pass is available from
the council's Info by Phone service on 01432 260500.
to School Competition Results
Two primary schools, one in Hereford and one in Bromyard,
have won this year's countywide campaign to get children
walking to school.
this term, Herefordshire schools took part in a campaign
to increase the number of children walking to school as
part of this year's international walk to school effort.
Herefordshire Council's road safety officers teamed up with
school travel advisers to target primary schools in Hereford
and the market towns, where lots of children already walk
to school. The aim was to promote walking and cycling to
school but also to stress the importance of road safety
to children. All
the schools taking part were judged on the highest number
of children (as a percentage of the whole school) walking
or cycling to school.
Hereford city, the winning school is St James' CE Primary
in Vicarage Road with 76% of pupils walking to school during
St Peter's CE Primary in Bromyard won the Market Towns section
with 79% of pupils walking to school during the week. Each
school will receive a prize of Road Safety kit worth £600
and every child in the school will get a hi-viz bag. The
prizes will be presented at school assemblies and road safety
mascot, Spike the Hedgehog, will be on hand to congratulate
Brian Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation,
said, 'Herefordshire schools have responded incredibly well
to this year's walk to school campaign. Well done to all
those who have participated and congratulations to the winners.'
Affordable Homes on the Way
There is good news for people wanting to set up home in
the county as Herefordshire Council is on target with plans
which will mean more than 800 new affordable homes will
be built in the next four years. The
homes are desperately needed to help tackle the growing
divide between lower than average salaries and higher than
average house prices in Herefordshire.
is driving many people out of the county as they simply
can't afford to buy a house and live here. It is an important
issue we take seriously and are tackling it,' said Councillor
John Jarvis, cabinet member for environment and strategic
housing. 'We hope to have 112 of these homes built during
2007/ 2008 and a further 718 by 2011.'
homes will be built thanks to Herefordshire Council's housing
needs and development teams negotiation's with developers
across the county. Overall, the recently adopted blue print
for land use in the county, the Unitary Development Plan,
sets out a target of building 2,300 affordable homes in
the 15 year period from 1996 to 2011. The Edgar Street Grid
development will include a significant number of affordable
top of this, the council's housing needs and development
team is tackling the problem of empty properties and aims
to bring 100 homes back into use during 2007/ 2008.
the level of development centred on Hereford city and the
market towns, we must not forget rural communities, where
the need for affordable housing is great but the opportunity
to create these kinds of homes is more limited,' said Councillor
Jarvis. 'To help tackle this issue, a rural housing enabler
has been appointed to complement existing work by focusing
attention on settlement villages and helping these local
parish councils identify potential sites where affordable
housing in rural communities can be built.
we are seeing increasing numbers of affordable houses being
built in the county, there is still much to be done. It
was recently announced that there is funding available to
build affordable housing in the region and we are doing
all we can to ensure that Herefordshire gets its share.
Indeed, Hereford has been accepted as a new growth point,
which reflects our commitment to meeting the challenge given
to councils by government to increase the supply of affordable
Bridge to Reopen for Light Traffic
Colwall Bridge is currently on target to reopen to light
vehicles on Friday, 7th December, after an interim inspection
report showed the bridge was able to take loads under three
tonnes, though only on a specific route.
have used data from the inspection carried out in October
to create a safe route for light vehicles that is supported
by the internal beams to the bridge as these exhibit less
deterioration than some other beams supporting the bridge.
These beams are at an angle to the highway and so the route
over the bridge takes an S shaped course. There will be
traffic signals to control the flow of traffic (which is
single lane) over the bridge and, to ensure vehicles are
limited to the three tonne limit, there is a width restriction
at each end of the bridge.
Brian Wilcox said, 'I am pleased we can now open the bridge
to light traffic and hope it will help the community and
businesses of Colwall to get back to normal, especially
in the busy run up to Christmas. As soon as we knew there
was an opportunity to reopen the bridge to light traffic,
we worked on designing the necessary traffic measures that
are needed to be in place to allow for the reopening of
layout might result in some delays for motorists but this
is considered far preferable to not reopening the bridge
at all. I hope people will accept this short term measure
as the only option available at the moment. We are unable
to fully reopen the bridge to all traffic but when we have
the complete results from our inspection, we and Network
Rail will be in a position to decide on the best solution,
with a bailey bridge still being an option for the medium
full report from the inspection will be available later
News for Local Transport in Herefordshire
Good news for local transport in Herefordshire It has been
announced today that Herefordshire will receive an extra
£3.3m to support local transport schemes in addition to
funding previously identified within in Council's Local
Transport Plan. As part of the regional announcement Minister
for the West Midlands Liam Bryne also praised Hereford's
multi award winning Victoria Footbridge restoration project
as an example of local transport projects that have already
played their part in improving transport around the West
Midlands. The extra funding will be made available over
the next three years and is a result of a revision in the
formula used to allocate highway maintenance capital funding.
Brian Wilcox said, 'Confirmation of this funding over the
next three years will give us far greater certainty to plan
for the future and implement our Local Transport strategy.
As part of this strategy we wish to encourage more use of
public transport and get more people to cycle and, if Connect2
win the public vote on ITV1 for lottery cash, then we can
start work on our Hereford scheme to provide a cycle and
walking route from the north east of the city with Rotherwas.'
money awarded has to be spent on transport improvements
within the county such as road safety measures, better street
lighting, highways maintenance and cycle lanes.
Chance to Vote for Connect2, a Vote for Hereford
The people of Hereford should pick up their phones from
this Friday, 7th December to help secure part of a £50 million
Big Lottery Fund grant for walking and cycling between Hereford
and Rotherwas. A vote for Sustrans' Connect2, will help
make it easier for people both locally and across the UK
to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.
The number to call will be available from Friday, 7th December
at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk. Calls will cost no more
than 10p from a BT land line, however, calls from other
land lines and mobiles may be higher. It's also still possible
to cast an online vote at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk.
All voting closes at noon on Monday, 10th December.
of the bids will be highlighted in programmes on ITV1 this
week. To find out more about Sustrans' Connect2 tune into
ITV1 at 11.05pm on Tuesday, December 4 and Friday, December
7, to see Lorraine Kelly's run down of how the £50 million
would change the lives of 79 communities across the UK.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, 12th December.
79 schemes around the UK, Connect2 would build bridges,
foot and cycle paths, and even reinstate a ferry, giving
people easier and healthier access to schools, workplaces,
shops and leisure areas. Connect2 is competing against three
other organizations, with the winner being decided by public
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. Lorraine Kelly is leading
the Connect2 bid, along with former minister Charles Clarke.
Connect2 is also supported by author Bill Bryson, designer
Wayne Hemingway and actor Alistair McGowan, amongst others.
In Northern Ireland actor Steven Arnold, Coronation Street's
Ashley Peacock is getting behind Connect2.
McGowan explains why he'll be picking up the phone for Connect2
this weekend: 'As someone who cycles everywhere I know the
benefits being on two wheels can bring. Last summer I improved
my fitness level enormously by cycling to and from the theatre
in Stratford. But I also know the problems cyclists and
walkers face when trying to negotiate busy roads, railway
crossings, rivers etc. That's why I'm voting for Sustrans'
Connect2. It will give me and at least six million others,
healthier and happier journeys around our local communities.
Please vote Connect2 now.'
Sustrans' Chief Executive John Grimshaw added, 'We need
as many people as possible to use their land lines and mobile
phones to vote for us to make sure some of that £50 million
Lottery money benefits people here in Hereford. Log on to
www.thepeoples50million.org.uk vote for Sustrans' Connect2,
and get your friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
There are so many great reasons to vote Connect2 and a minute
of your time could make all the difference. If you don't
have access to the internet, text Connect2 to 80010 or call
us on 0845 058 13 73 and we'll send you the voteline number
as soon as we know it on Friday.'
into Rural Transport for Teenage Learners
Herefordshire Council has contributed to a major study of
rural transport for teenage learners which recommends major
investment in post 16 travel. The report, entitled 'Rural
Transport - Long Distance Learners?' has been developed
by Norfolk County Council and Lincolnshire County Council
with contributions from other rural county councils including
report, which has been submitted to the Department for Children,
Schools and Families, focuses on the challenges faced by
young people trying to access post 16 education in rural
areas. Education for young people aged between 14 and 19
is in the process of reform, with government plans to raise
the education participation age to 18 by 2015.
of the major challenges faced by councils like Herefordshire
in encouraging young people into post 16 education is the
provision of good transport links. Although much work has
already gone on in the county to make it easier to travel
to and from colleges, sixth form centres and vocational
courses, there is still a need for considerable funding
from the government to improve these links, particularly
if students are likely to have to travel between centres
to receive the learning of their choice.
recently published study funded by the Learning and Skills
Council and undertaken by a partnership of county councils
has identified the key issues facing local authorities when
delivering and developing transport support policies. During
the study, consultative work was undertaken with rural authorities,
including Herefordshire, colleges and sixth form student
support managers, staff working on 14 to 19 development,
students from rural areas, bus operators and disability
specialists. The exercise indicated that many students are
spending too long travelling and that fragmented funding
and the rising number of students was making rural transport
difficult to maintain.
Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people,
said, 'This piece of work has highlighted the issues surrounding
access to learning in rural areas like Herefordshire and
provides a way forward for local and central government
to improve access to learning for young people. It is important
that young people living in rural areas are offered the
same learning opportunities as students from urban areas.
The government has provided us with tough targets to increase
the percentage of young people continuing their education
after secondary school, but we need to be able to resource
this. I hope they will take note of the study's findings
and recommendations for further investment.'
report makes ten key recommendations, including the provision
of free or concessionary transport for all young people
in learning up the age of 19. It also recommends that agreements
be made about responsibilities for planning and funding
home to school transport in rural areas, particularly journeys
necessary to access different courses under the proposed
14 to 19 diploma arrangements.
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