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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 180 - Wednesday, 9th January 2008
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Old Apple Tree, We Wassail Thee . . . - Whether the weather is popular or not]
Page 2 [. . . and then on to the party in the barn - Readers' Letters]
Page 3 [Missing - Mike Jennings - Forensic deterrent - Andy Margrett - Vine Tree Development? NLC Lunch for the elderly]

Page 4

[Botanical Art, Peace Poster Comp. - Wye Valley Festival - Public Notices - Lions' Feast - Rugby - Weather]
Page 5 [News from around Herefordshire]
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS

Panda goes to Hereford store

The market for food waste disposers has increased since Herefordshire Council, in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council, launched the Sink Your Waste scheme. This increased demand has led Hereford store City Electrical Factors (CEF) to stock Panda food waste disposers which, the manufacturers claim, are some of the easiest available units to install.

To mark the delivery of the first waste disposers to arrive at CEF, one of the delivery staff donned a giant panda costume that certainly caused a stir at the counter. Herefordshire Council expects the increasing number of stockists will help more people to get food waste disposers installed in their kitchens. Residents can claim up to £80 cashback from the Council for getting them fitted.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment and Strategic Housing, said, 'Food waste disposers are extremely useful for keeping food waste out of landfill sites and have the added bonus of keeping the kitchen clean and smell-free. As a council we are committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and hope the cashback offer will encourage more people to have food waste disposers installed.'

People wishing to claim cashback should use a claim form available at www.sinkyourwaste.com or by telephoning 01906 766883. Details of other suppliers of food waste disposers are also listed on the same website.


Re

Police Appeal for Witnesses to Wormbridge Collision

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to a collision on the A465 at Wormbridge in which a man died and two other people were seriously injured..

The collision happened close to Wormbridge Court Farm at 9.05pm on Thursday, 3rd January and involved two cars; a blue Peugeot 106 heading towards Abergavenny and a red Rover 414 travelling in the opposite direction. Both vehicles were extensively damaged and the road was completely blocked.

The driver of the Peugeot car, a 46-year-old man from Glamorgan, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as Mr Heinz Hetke from Hengoed in South Wales. West Mercia Family Liaison Officers are assisting Mr Hetke’s relatives at this time.

A 14 year old boy, who was a front seat passenger in the Peugeot was taken to Hereford County Hospital with serious but non life threatening injuries.

The 25 year old female driver of the Rover was also taken to Hereford County Hospital with serious but non life threatening injuries.

The Herefordshire Coroner has been informed of Mr Hetke’s death and a post mortem is due to take place tomorrow. It is expected that an inquest will be opened and adjourned on Thursday, 10th January.

Police are keen to speak to witnesses to the collision or anyone who saw the vehicles travelling along the road beforehand. In particular they would like to speak to the driver of a car which is known to have stopped at the scene and briefly offered assistance. The car was a silver estate type vehicle and was driven by a slim man with red coloured hair. He got a torch out of his car to assist but stated he had to leave because he had a young baby in the car with him. ..

Officers are keen to trace this motorist as he clearly may be an important witness with information that could assist the investigation. He, or anyone else with information should contact PC Darren Collett at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 544-s-030108.



The Belmont Survey - Your Final Reminder

The Belmont Survey was distributed to all homes in Belmont last month and is due back this week. Everyone should look at this survey and tell Herefordshire Council and the Parish Council what they want for the public open spaces at Dorchester Way and Northolme Road.

Without support nothing will happen. The survey asks for people's opinions on providing footpaths, a wetland area, bridges over the brook and play facilities for infants, juniors and teenagers.

'This is probably the last chance people will have to shape the new park. Without the enthusiastic backing of the local community there is no possibility of getting external funding, so nothing will happen. If people want footpaths or children's play facilities they must say so by filling in the survey,' said Fran White, Herefordshire Council's Parks Development Manager. Equally, if people think any aspect of the plan is not suitable for Belmont, this is their opportunity to voice their objections.'

Surveys can be returned by FREEPOST in the envelope provided, they can be dropped into the Northolme Community Centre or people can arrange to have them collected by leaving a message and their address on 01432 260411.



Swap Shop Returns to Hereford Butter Market

Herefordshire Council, in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council, is running a special event next week to encourage residents to reuse in the New Year. A special swap shop event, based on the 1980s Saturday morning television show hosted by Keith Chegwin, is being held at Hereford's Butter Market on Saturday, 12th January between 10am and 3pm.

The event will give residents the chance to swap unwanted items, removing the need for them to be thrown out and sent to landfill.

Members of the public can bring along household items they no longer need and take home something that catches their eye for free. Residents can also swap larger items if they bring along a photograph of them.

Laura Preece, Herefordshire Council's recycling officer said, 'As well as being a fun community event, the Swap Shop will drive home an important message about the need to reuse items in a bid to reduce the number of valuable resources sent to landfill.' Other waste saving ideas will be on display at the event to give hints and tips on how to cut down on the amount sent to landfill.

If you are unable to make it to the swap shop event then why not take your unwanted presents to your local charity shop or offer them to others on Freecycle at www.freecycle.org.

For further information about the swap shops or other waste prevention initiatives, please call 01905 766883 or visit www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk



Mission Impossible Newsletter on its way to Residents

Herefordshire Council is urging residents to keep their eyes peeled for a waste busting newsletter winging its way to them.

The council's residents' newsletter, 'Herefordshire Matters,' will be arriving through letterboxes in the next couple of weeks. As well as the usual great features on council news, Herefordshire Matters also includes the latest edition of Mission Impossible News.

The eight page insert is bursting with information packed articles and tips aimed at helping residents reduce, reuse and recycle their household waste. It also gives readers the chance to win a trip to the Eden Project, including B&B accommodation for one night; as well as a number of runners up prizes.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Strategic Housing said, 'There are plenty of ways residents can do their bit to help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill each year. The newsletter not only contains handy hints about what they could be doing, but also shows examples of residents who are already successfully reducing their household waste. We hope that the people of Herefordshire will take on board at least a few of these messages and help us to continue reducing waste in the county.'

Mission Impossible is a unique project aimed at helping residents find simple ways to manage their waste and reduce the amount of rubbish they throw away. Those wanting to find out more should call the Mission Impossible helpline on 01905 766883 or visit www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk.



Scrutiny Supports Colwall Bridge Decision

Councillors on Herefordshire Council's Environment Scrutiny Committee agree that an alternative crossing is urgently required at the failing Colwall railway bridge. The bridge closure last summer and subsequent partial reopening to light traffic has brought chaos to roads and businesses in the area..

Amid continuing uncertainty on the timescale for Network Rail to repair the badly rusted structure, the committee came to this conclusion and noted that a Bailey Bridge, costing around £450,000, was emerging as a likely solution.

On December 13 cabinet agreed that a temporary bailey bridge be installed over Colwall railway bridge, if that was considered to be the most appropriate solution to the problem that has left the village divided and many local businesses struggling.

The committee "called in" the decision to explore concerns it had over three issues:

1. It wanted clarity over the contribution Network Rail would make towards the cost of a Bailey Bridge.
2. It wanted to know how much a permanent replacement bridge would cost to allow the comparison with the cost of a temporary Bailey Bridge.
3. It wanted clarification as to why as least part of the proposed works could not be put out to competitive tender.

At its meeting on Wednesday, 2nd January, committee members were shocked by photographs of the underside of the bridge - that had, in parts, completely rusted through. It was also explained to the committee how the bridge had been closed in August, when reports first revealed the extent of the damage caused by neglect and lack of maintenance..

During early December the bridge was reopened to traffic weighing less than three tonnes - only a single lane of traffic is allowed to meander across the bridge in a tightly controlled lane which follows the path of the supports which have been least affected by decay.

Members of the committee were told that while Network Rail is responsible for the upkeep of the bridge (it has a legal obligation to ensure that the bridge can take only a 24 tonne stationary load in the middle of its span) Herefordshire Council, as the local highways authority, had responsibility to ensure the bridge could be used by moving vehicles weighing up to 40 tonnes.

Following a lively debate which lasted more than an hour, Councillor Roy Stockton, Ward Member for Colwall, told members of the committee they should not divert their attention from the heart of the problem. He said, 'We don't want to be simply arguing over legal issues. We need a Bailey Bridge - and this is due to large-scale neglect by the bridge's owner, Network Rail.'

Members of the committee heard that lorries were regularly becoming grounded on the alternative route through the village, verges were becoming churned up and tractors were frequently being called in to rescue stranded lorries, stuck as they tried to negotiate the narrow alternative route through the village.

Regarding the £450,000 cost for the Bailey bridge, the committee was informed that Herefordshire Council had received a letter from Network Rail confirming it would cover half the cost with the council having to foot the remainder of the bill. t

While the committee supports Cabinet's decision of December 13 for a temporary bridge, it also made the following recommendations, which will now be considered by the Cabinet Member with responsibility for highways and transportation, Councillor Brian Wilcox:

That cabinet:

1) seek urgent clarification as to the legal responsibilities on both council and owners of non-council owned bridges over which a highway runs;
2) considers representation to the Health and Safety Executive on Network Rail's failures to adequately maintain Colwall Railway bridge;
3) agree that the final decision on the temporary crossing is treated as a key decision
4) treat this as urgent in view of the detrimental effect on the local community.



New Pocket Guide Shows How Council Services are Funded

Two out of every five pounds spent by Herefordshire Council now goes on providing social services for older people and vulnerable children and adults.

This is now the biggest area of net expenditure for the council, which also devotes 23 per cent to environmental services like waste collection and recycling, street cleansing and planning; 14 per cent to education; 12 per cent on highways and transportation and 5 per cent on housing needs and homelessness. One per cent of the council's net expenditure goes on central services.

The figures are included in a new easy-to-read summary of the council's financial accounts, which has been issued to give residents an insight into where the money for local services comes from and where it is spent. The pocket-sized leaflet can be picked up from council offices, Info shops and libraries across the county, and is available on the council's web site

During the 2006/07 financial year, 22 per cent of the council's revenue income was provided through council tax and 12 per cent from business rates. Over half of the money comes from government grants and further smaller sums from fees and charges.

Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for finance, said. 'Herefordshire Council maintains one of the very lowest council tax rates of any unitary council in the country, and we receive a much lower than average government grant per head of the population. Yet Herefordshire is under enormous pressure to meet the needs of a rapidly growing older population, which naturally need specific care services, which are expensive. There is the further challenge of making funds stretch across a large, predominantly rural and sparsely populated area, where services are also more expensive to provide due to high transport costs.'



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