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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. 179 - Wednesday, 2nd January 2008
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 [WNTV News - New Year's Eve at the Market House and at the White Lion and Prince of Wales]
Page 2 [2008 can only get better - Ross children welcome Santa - Packing presents for Santa]
Page 3 [A nice start to Christmas - Mike Jennings - Jumpin' Jive from the Jiveoholics - White Lion Nativity]

Page 4

[Fab Four on Boxing Day - Panto fun at Nature's Choice - Jagged Hands at the Prince of Wales - VOSA vehicles]
Page 5 [Updating What'sOn? - Christmas Day Lunch for the elderly - WRVS Christmas Lunch]
Page 6 [Car Vandalized - John Dickinson's closes after 50 years - Snowy weather warning]
Page 7 [New Year's Day Fun Run - Y-Zone - Rugby Club Raffle - The President's Game]
Page 8 [News from around Herefordshire County]
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS

Wartime memories shared at St Paul's School

Pupils, staff, parents and grandparents enjoyed a spectacular World War Two event at St Paul's C of E Primary School just before Christmas. The children in year six have been learning about what life was like during World War Two and have covered a number of themes including evacuation, rationing and entertainment. Many of the themes have been described in detail in individual projects which were shared with the audience. Some of the projects even included old ration books and identity cards. In craft design technology the children created their own unique air raid shelters and tested them to see if they could stand pressure (from a brick rather than a bomb).

Reginald Thomas, Head Teacher at the school, said, 'We had some very interesting shelters built with comfort in mind. It was lovely that the children had thought about trying to make people feel safe and comfortable, even though in reality survival was the key.'

To bring it all together the staff and children put on a very special assembly and invited the whole school community to enjoy a concert featuring hand bell ringing, songs and extracts from diaries and projects. They even performed their very own musical composition, 'A London Street' accompanied by some dramatic film footage. Young and older voices joined to sing some of the old wartime favourites including Kiss Me Goodbye Sergeant Major, It's a Long Way to Tipperary and White Cliffs of Dover.

'The children worked really hard to put together a fantastic concert which brought back memories for many of the audience, some good, and some not so good,' said Mr Thomas. 'I believe the odd tear was shed, particular when everyone joined in to sing We'll Meet Again.'

To finish, the children served wartime treats of carrot cookies, potato biscuits, rock cakes, honey cakes and porridge scones, to their audience which they had prepared themselves.


Children bring back war time memories to the school community.

Road death at Cusop

Police are appealing for witnesses to a collision involving two vehicles near Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire in which a man died. The collision happened at around 1.40pm on Saturday, 22nd December on the B4348 at Cusop.

A blue Peugeot 306 and a gold Land Rover Discovery were in a head-on collision, both vehicles sustaining severe front end damage. The driver of the Peugeot died from his injuries at the scene. He was later identified as 26-year-old Lee Richard Stevenson from Bredwardine.

The driver of the Land Rover suffered minor injuries. The Herefordshire Coroner has been informed of Mr Stevensonís death and a post mortem was due to be held on Thursday, 27th December. An inquest will be opened and adjourned in the New Year.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision and would also like to speak to any motorists who saw the vehicles travelling along the road beforehand. Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Steve Broom at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888.



Concern for missing Clehonger woman

Police are appealing for the public's help to trace a missing woman from Clehonger.

Janet Price, age 60, left her home in Poplar Road, Clehonger, for a meeting in Hay-on-Wye on Wednesday, 19th December. She failed to keep the appointment and has not returned home or been in contact with friends of family since.

Mrs Price's family say this behaviour is out of character and they are extremely concerned for her welfare.

She is described as being 5ft 4ins tall, with short straight grey hair and of medium build. It is not known what clothes she was wearing when she left home.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen Mrs Price in past few days or believes they know of her current whereabouts.

Anyone with information should contact Herefordshire Police on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 122s of 20th December.



Road death victim named

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to a collision on the A44 near Bromyard. Simon Phillips, aged 40 and from Batchley, near to Bredenbury, died in the collision, which happened around half a mile west of Bromyard at 7.40pm on Tuesday, 18th December.

Two cars - a silver Peugeot 405 driven by Mr Phillips and a yellow Peugeot 307 driven by a 27-year-old woman - collided head on and suffered extensive damage. Mr Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered multiple injuries.

A male front seat passenger from the same car suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment. The female driver of the second vehicle was also taken to hospital for treatment to non life-threatening injuries. There were no other casualties.

A post mortem was carried out and an inquest into Mr Phillipís death is expected to be opened and adjourned by the Herefordshire Coroner in the New Year.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the vehicles on the A44 just prior. Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Bob Conway at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888.



Assault at Dusk Night Club

Police are investigating an assault which occurred inside Dusk Night Club in Hereford on Thursday, 20th December. The male victim was on the dance floor at the Commercial Road venue at around 12.40am when an unknown male punched him twice in the jaw and then walked away.

It is not clear why the assault took place but the victim was left with a suspected broken jaw. Anybody who witnessed the altercation is asked to contact PC Paul Whaley at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.



Appeal for witnesses in Leominster

Police are appealing for information after a man was reported to have been struck by a car in the Burgess Street car park in Leominster. Reports of a car striking a pedestrian and driving away were received at around 9.30am on Friday, 21st December.

Police attended and spoke to a number of witnesses but the victim himself - a man aged around 60 - had walked away before he could be spoken to. Despite searches of the area, neither the victim nor the offending vehicle could be traced and the victim is still yet to come forward. He is described as having a beard and was wearing green trousers and a light jacket, carrying a blue bag with 'Hong Kong' written on it.

The car involved in the incident was an old-style red VW Polo. It had trim ripped off it on the nearside and was being driven by a younger man with a large dog in the back. After pausing briefly following the collision, the car then drove off down Burgess Street.

Anyone who has information about the incident - including the victim, who is urged to come forward - can contact Leominster Police on 08457 444888.



Assaulted at the traffic lights

Police are trying to trace witnesses to an incident in which a man was assaulted while waiting at traffic lights in Hereford.

The victim, who is of Asian appearance, was sat in his works van at the traffic lights on St Owen Street, opposite the butcher's shop at around 3.30pm on Friday, 21st December when the incident happened. A group of four unknown males approached the rear of the van and began to write a message in the dirt. The driver tried to dissuade them by revving the engine but the group opened the door and assault the victim.

During the assault, which left the victim with a cut finger, racist abuse was shouted. The four attackers then ran off towards Mill Street and the Victoria Footbridge, with one of them ripping off the van's wing mirror as he did so.

One of the offenders was wearing a red and blue jacket with a navy blue cap, while another wore dark jeans and a dark top. All were white.

'This was an unusual and totally unprovoked incident in which the victim was physically assaulted and taunted with racist abuse,' said a Herefordshire Police spokesman. 'We are particularly keen therefore to trace these individuals or speak to anyone who may have seen them as they ran away from the area on Friday afternoon or have information as to their identities.'

Information can be passed to PC Andy Mowen at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or anonymously on 0800 555111.



Attempted Robbery and Assault in Hereford

Police are appealing for witnesses to an attempted robbery and assault in the Newton Farm area of Hereford. The incident happened at between midnight and 12.15am on Saturday, 15th December as the male victim was walking home. As he neared The Oval, two males approached him and asked him for cigarettes. The victim told them he did not smoke and walked away, only to be pushed from behind to the floor. One of the two attackers then grabbed the victim's jumper and demanded money and a mobile phone be handed over, while the other began swinging punches, one of which caught the victim across the cheek.

The victim told the pair he would not give up his belongings and retaliated in self defence. The two offenders then ran off and the victim called the police. The victim suffered cuts and bruises in the incident. One of the two attackers wore a white hoody top and the other a black hoody top. Both had dark trousers on.

Anyone with information about their identities should contact PC Kim Mathieson at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.



Witnesses sought after garden wall is demolished

Police are appealing for witnesses to a collision in which a vehicle lost control and collided with a garden wall in Whittern Way, Hereford. The incident happened at 7.05pm on Monday, 17th December and involved a black Renault Clio. The garden wall of a house was demolished in the collision. The male driver of the Clio was taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries.

Police are keen to trace any sightings or details of a silver Vauxhall Corsa car, described as being quite new looking, which may also have been involved in the collision. It is thought to have driven away down Whittern Way immediately afterwards, heading towards Ledbury Road.

Police wish to talk to any witnesses who may have seen the collision or either vehicle beforehand. They are asked to contact PC Simon Lantos at the Hereford Roads Policing Team on 08457 444888.



Oak boards stolen

A set of 20 oak boards have been stolen from a property undergoing renovation in Luston. The 13ft long panels had been stacked up to dry inside the building on Eye Lane, having earlier been painted with linseed oil. They were taken some time between Sunday, 9th December and Monday, 17th December.

The boards have no particular resale value but are the type often used in barn conversions. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact PC Stefan Hawes at Leominster Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.



Graffiti sprayed on house in Ledbury

Graffiti was sprayed on the side of a house and a fence running alongside an alleyway in Bronte Drive, Ledbury. Blue spray paint was used to create the graffiti, which extends for three or four feet, some time between Tuesday, 17th December and the following day.

Anyone with information as to who is responsible should contact PC Caroline Rea at Ledbury Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.



Hereford's Connect2 Scheme Wins Public Vote

A planned footpath and cycleway linking the north east of Hereford with Rotherwas has received a £350,000 boost after Sustrans' Connect2 project won £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund. Members of the public chose the winning project by voting online and by telephone. Voting finished at noon on Monday, 10th December, and the winner was announced on Wednesday, 12th December.

Four projects nationally were competing for the £50 million funding and Connect2 will use the money to partially fund 79 schemes around the UK. These include building bridges, foot and cycle paths, all aimed at giving people easier and healthier access to schools, workplaces, shops and leisure areas.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said, 'I'd like to thank everyone who has voted and helped this extremely worthwhile project win the Big Lottery Fund grant. Connect2 will not only benefit Hereford but 78 other communities as well. Hereford's own Connect2 scheme will make a real difference to the city, especially to the large number of people who work in Rotherwas. It will also offer a leisure route out as far as the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Holme Lacy. I will now be working hard to secure the rest of the funding needed to make sure work on this footpath and cycleway starts as soon as possible and we are able to further extend the city's footpath network.'

After hearing the news, John Grimshaw, Sustrans CEO, said, 'This is a fantastic Christmas present! We are delighted that Sustrans' Connect2 has proved itself the peoples' favourite in the public vote and won the £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund. We are immensely grateful to Herefordshire supporters and everyone who got behind Hereford's Connect2 scheme to bridge the gap between Rotherwas and Hereford to make their votes count. As a massive public consultation exercise, Connect2 has engendered a huge amount of goodwill from all sectors.

It has confirmed our belief that people want to walk and cycle more when given the right surroundings. But the hard work starts now and there will be a huge amount to be done to make sure we fulfil all our obligations to the Big Lottery Fund. Ultimately, the real winners will be those thousands of people who will now be able to Connect2 their shops, schools, workplaces and each other every day!'



Parishes Compete to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Parishes across the county are being challenged to reduce their carbon footprint in a bid to encourage local communities to put their heads together and work on ways of reducing CO2 emissions.

In a campaign which hopes to encourage lifestyle changes, Herefordshire Council and the Herefordshire Partnership have launched the county's very own carbon footprint calculator, which assesses how many CO2 emissions each individual household generates in a year. The calculator gathers information on household costs such as energy, fuel and food, then provides a carbon footprint score and recommendations on how to reduce emissions and save money in the process.

Simple things like turning the heating down a notch and trying to reduce unnecessary journeys can make a huge difference to the environment. It is hoped the footprint calculator will help people of all ages get involved in the campaign to reduce the county's emissions.

To promote a bit of healthy competition, the challenge is on to find out which parish has the biggest carbon footprint, so as well as providing an individual footprint, the calculator collates data in parish format. Users can compare their carbon footprint with averages in the country, county and individual parishes. The calculator is very flexible so that it can be adapted to individual people's needs. The council needs as many people as possible to use it and to provide feedback so that it can be refined even more and tailored to the needs of Herefordshire communities.

Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing, said, 'Each of us can look at our own lifestyles and those of our immediate community to help Herefordshire become one of the lowest emitters of C02 rather than one of the biggest culprits. I hope people will rise to the challenge and take a couple of minutes to work out their own carbon footprint. It's quite good fun to do and could save households money too if they follow some of the recommendations.'

The carbon footprint calculator can be found on www.myherefordshire.com.



Council Praised for Tackling Benefit Fraud

Herefordshire Council continues to improve the way it prevents and detects benefit fraud as well as having excellent security in place for safeguarding personal data and speeding up the way it processes and pays genuine benefit claims. This is the view of the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI), which works nationally to reduce fraud and error in the benefits system.

Inspectors have reported dramatic improvements in the council's administration of housing and council tax benefit payments and its counter-fraud measures. The council scored three out of a possible four stars and is rated a 'good' service.

The average time for processing new claims has improved from 52 days to 30 over the past year and the average time for processing changes in claimants' circumstances has reduced from 42 days to 16. Herefordshire Council is also exceeding its targets in visiting customers to identify changes in circumstances and in completing reviews of those cases.

The council employs a team of professionally trained fraud investigators, which is committed to protecting public funds, and use data matching information that indicates, for example, when people may have failed to tell the council about work, savings or private pensions. The council also has powers to obtain information from employers, banks, building societies, utility companies and other organizations about people they suspect are committing benefit fraud.

A large proportion of the council's fraud referrals are from local people who are fed up with others cheating the benefit system. With the continued support of the community, Herefordshire Council warns it intends to carry on making life difficult for people who claim benefit they know they're not entitled to.

During 2006/7 the council investigated more than 500 allegations of fraud, which resulted in 38 successful prosecutions and 63 sanctions being imposed. Over £900,000 of benefit overpayments were recovered. If people suspect anyone of benefit fraud, the council urges them to contact the benefit fraud hotline on freephone number 0800 592953 or write to the benefit investigation unit, Town Hall, St Owens Street, Hereford, HR1 2PJ.

'We take benefit fraud very seriously, but we also strongly encourage people who are entitled to their rightful benefits to claim,' said Mike Toney, head of benefit and exchequer services. 'I am pleased to say that our service processing genuine claims has shown a dramatic improvement on last year and we will continue to offer the best possible service to everyone claiming housing or council tax benefit payments.'



Government Funding Increase Ignores County's Elderly

Herefordshire Council has been let down by Government, which has failed to acknowledge the growing pressure of providing services to the county's growing population of older people. That's the message from the Leader of the council, Councillor Roger Phillips, speaking after the government announced the grants local authorities in the UK will receive for the next three years.

He said that the local government financial settlement had been a 'golden opportunity' for Government to address the shortfall in cash the council faces in providing quality services for its older people. Herefordshire has the fastest growing population of older people in the country.

'This settlement from Government accounts for around three quarters of all the money we have to spend. While we welcome the extra £2 million we will receive each year for the next three years, we've been seriously let down yet again by Government not acknowledging the increased pressure on our services due to the changing age profile of people in Herefordshire. This, along with the challenges of delivering services in one of the most sparsely populated areas in England, has not been adequately recognized. This was a golden opportunity for Government to address this issue. They've chosen to ignore it and it means we're going to have to make some tough choices in coming months and years.'

Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the Local Government Association, which represents the interests of the UK's local authorities, said that the government announcement represented the worst settlement for a decade for some councils facing increased pressure on their services. 'Many council leaders will be scratching their heads as they try to work out how they will deliver ever better services for local people with less money than in recent years and with greater demands on services. Ministers must recognize the strains that are being placed on councils. The small funding increase announced in the settlement will chip away at the ability of councils to deliver the services that local people rightly expect and deserve.' he added.



Colwall Could Get Temporary Bridge

Relief is in sight for Colwall's weary motorists after Herefordshire Council agreed to explore the possibility of installing a temporary bailey bridge next to the ailing railway bridge.

After negotiations with Network Rail, Herefordshire Council has been able to open the bridge to light traffic. However, at a meeting on Thursday, 13th December, members of the council's cabinet heard that Network Rail was unlikely to schedule the construction of a permanent replacement until 2011/12.

'This is a far from satisfactory situation,' said Councillor Brian Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation. 'We've had pleas from traders asking us to do something as they fear they're going bust because of the enforced closure of the bridge and vehicles are getting stuck along the tortuous routes they've been having to use.'

Last week the total ban on vehicles using the bridge was lifted and currently light vehicles under three tonnes are permitted to use the bridge, albeit only along a specific route. Having regard to the accelerated deterioration over the past couple of years, Councillor Wilcox expressed concern over the safety for light traffic continuing for several further years. Engineers used data from an 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 other beams supporting it.

The temporary bailey bridge, if installed, will cost £450,000 and will be capable of carrying 40-tonne vehicles, but would still mean vehicles being controlled via traffic lights. A detailed assessment of the bridge, which began with an inspection in October, is due for completion later this month. After the receipt of this information, it is anticipated an informed decision will be made as to the best course of action to be taken, with the cost being shared between the Council and Network Rail. With this in mind, the cabinet approved the requested expenditure if it is considered that building a bailey bridge is the best way forward.



Man charged after Telford Burglary

A man has been charged with burglary following an alleged incident in Telford on Boxing Day, when police were called to reports of an offender at a business premises in Capewell Road.

The 30 year old man was arrested as part of Project Livewire, West Mercia Constabulary's initiative to tackle metal theft. Police believe the premises were targeted for copper piping and wires. He was released on bail and is due to appear at Telford magistrates court on 15th January 2008.

In a separate incident, two men were cautioned for theft after police were called to Baggallay Street, Hereford, on the night of Wednesday, 26th December. Two men were stopped by police and found to be in possession of lead flashing which had been removed from Whitecross High School. The men are aged 19 and 23.

A significant increase in global demand for non-ferrous metals has been reflected in significant increases in price and scrap values. This has led to an increase in the number of thefts and criminals are targeting building sites, farms, churches, schools, HGVs and a variety of other sources to steal metal such as copper, aluminium and steel. Items such as pipes, road drain covers and even road signs are being taken.

Police are working to improve the flow of information between partners such as the Environment Agency and local authorities, to establish patterns of crime and what can be done to prevent and detect offences. Officers also share best practice with neighbouring forces and British Transport Police.

Part of Project Livewire involves officers visiting scrap metal dealers to inspect their books and encourage their business to become licensed. Stop checks are carried out on vehicles transporting metal and police officers are checking drivers for the correct documentation. There have been around 50 arrests since Project Livewire was launched in the summer.

For more information about Project Livewire please visit the force website www.westmercia.police.uk.



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