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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 183 - Wednesday, 30th January 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Robert Burns - Off Travelling - Wilton Castle - Schools Review - Post Office Closures - Car damaged - Hereford v. Cardiff - Banshee - Council Tax Recommendations - Flood Alleviation]
Page 2 [Scores on the Doors - River Tales - Art Auction - Freezer Dumped in Wye? - April on Sunday - Heritage Centre - Mike Arnison's Photography - New Crematorium - Weather Station]
Page 3 [News from around Herefordshire]
Presented by Tina Jones

This programme has been removed to conserve space on the web server but can still be obtained from WNTV NEWS on DVD or watched at the Heritage Centre.

Address to the Haggis at Woodside

Along with local bagpiper, Alan Harrison I was invited along to lunch at Woodside Day-care Centre on Thursday. This was not because anybody was suggesting it is time to get training with a zimmer frame (although the way I feel quite often of late, I don't think those days are too far in the future). I was invited along to a special Robert Burns celebration lunch.

Burns Night actually fell on Friday but on the day before, Alan Harrison went along to both 'pipe in' and recite Burns Address to the Haggis. Although a Cockney myself by birth as I was born in Stepney, within the sound of Bow Bells, Robert Burns is actually one of my maternal something or other times great grandfathers, so I found the occasion quite interesting from that point of view. My mother was very proud of this fact and I wish I had listened more to the info regarding the family relationship but I did have a tendency to switch-off and go glassy eyed when the genealogy conversations began.

I enjoyed both the haggis and company of the people at Woodside very much. Thank you to Caroline for the experience and Alan's Address to the Haggis can be seen in this week's WNTV News programme.

Ref: DSC_4038

The White House Guest House, Ross-on-Wye. Anchor Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Ross-on-Wye.
Orles Barn Celebrate Burns Night

Richard and Kelly Bailey of the Orles Barn Hotel held a special dinner on Saturday evening to celebrate Burns Night. The entire menu had a Scottish theme, with starters including cock-o-leekie soup, smoked Scottish Salmon etc, followed by Haggis, 'neeps and tatties, then some delicious desserts. Richard even recited the 'Address to a Haggis!'

There was also a special whisky tasting, with several excellent whiskies on the fully descriptive list.

Everybody seemed to be having a lovely evening and you can see part of the event in this week's edition of WNTV News.

Richard and Kelly Bailey enjoyed themselves as much as the guests. Ref: DSC_4064

Everybody was having a lovely time at the Burns Night dinner in the restaurant at Orles Barn. Ref: DSC_4058
The White Lion Inn, Wilton.
Morris Bricknell, Chartered Surveyors, Stroud House, 30, Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 5LE.


-Tel: 01989 768320

The World is Their Oyster

There was a big party going on in the function room at the Prince of Wales on Saturday evening. Friends and relatives all turned up to have a few celebratory drinks with Alan Cook and his friends Sean and Mark before the trio set off from these shores to discover the rest of the world. The boys aren't leaving until mid February, but from what I saw, it will probably take them that long to get over their hangovers.

Good luck guys and have a fantastic time.

Alan Cook witrh friends, Sean and Mark on Saturday evening. Ref: DSC_4073

Planning permission gives Ross business prospects a boost

Business economy is set for a boost in Ross after Herefordshire Council granted outline planning permission to convert 25 acres of agricultural land for commercial use. The site on the A40 just outside Ross is owned by the council, which is keen to see investment in the knowledge-based high-technology sector on the site.

The outline plan divides the site into zones with identified uses that could include office space, research and development, general industry, storage or distribution centres. There will also be a 12-acres landscaped area as a buffer zone between the site and the nearby housing.

Members of the council's Planning Committee met to discuss the application on Friday last week, 18th January and granted permission, subject to a number of conditions. The committee heard that the site is identified in the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan as allocated employment land, a protected open area and green spaces.

Ross-on-Wye Town Council supported the scheme, saying it had the potential to be a flagship development. A flood risk assessment supported the application, taking into account the flood alleviation scheme which is currently under construction.

Broome Farm B & B and Restaurant, Peterstow.
Rose Cottage Tea Garden, Symonds Yat.
Wilton Castle Open Days

Thank you to Alan and Sue Parslow, owners of Wilton castle for sending in the three recent photographs of the castle, left and below.

Alan and Sue will be holding four Wilton Castle open days this year. These open days, which are always very popular and give visitors the opportunity to see the fantastic restoration work which has been taking place on the ancient building over the past two years are well worth a visit and can be an interesting experience for all the family.

The open days take place between 11.00 am and 6.00 pm on each of the following days:

  • 24th March - Easter Monday.
  • 5th May - May Bank Holiday.
  • 22nd June - Sunday.
  • 3rd August - Sunday.

Entrance fee: Adults £3.50 - Children £1.75 - English Heritage Members Free.

Photos from past Wilton Castle open days can be seen in the back issues of Wyenot News.

Sunrise over the flooded Wye from Wilton castle.

Revised schools review proposals to be
published in September

A countywide review of all schools still needs to be carried out and schools, communities and council members need to be part of the discussions before proposals are put together. That's the message given at Herefordshire Council's children's services scrutiny committee this week when they met to discuss recently recalled draft proposals about the county's future education provision.

Council leaders accepted the need for a review but questioned the procedures used to put the proposals together and the way they were shared with head teachers before anyone else had been briefed.

Officers informed members that since the start of the review in March 2006, there had been a lot of discussion with head teachers concerning the problems schools face with falling pupil numbers and falling resources. Schools had asked council officers to come up with proposals, which could then be debated further. A representative from the Government Office of the West Midlands had been informed about the review, kept up-to-date of its progress and been present when proposals were shared with head teachers on 10th January.

Denise Strutt, head teacher at Whitecross Sports College representing head teachers on the scrutiny committee, told the meeting that head teachers had been involved in the debate about falling pupil numbers and lack of funding since the review began. She also commented that the head teachers had asked council officers to take a strategic view and put some proposals on the table for further debate. She added that it was right that head teachers should be the first to learn about proposals which could affect them and their school community.

Members of the committee were informed that negotiations have now begun with head teachers to agree procedures for carrying out the review over the next new months. They were also told that an independent assessment of the data used in the review is being undertaken. A report will be prepared and presented to the council's cabinet at the end of February, updating members of the council outlining the time scales of the review. In the meantime, further discussion will take place with schools, rural communities and teacher associations. The meeting requested that revised proposals be taken to the children's services scrutiny committee before being issued for further consultation in September 2009.

Councillor Sally Robertson, Chair of Children's Services Scrutiny Committee, said, 'Scrutiny committee was not aware of the proposals until the information was released on Friday, 11th January. I regret the upset the draft proposals have caused to schools and their communities. As a council, we have some very difficult decisions to make over the future of our children's education.

The council has been struggling financially for years, and now the government is pushing us into a review situation. We have been advised that if we don't address the surplus capacity issue, the government could take money away from us, but we need to make sure that all partners involved in schools have the opportunity to sit round the table and discuss solutions before a further set of proposals is issued. "We have asked for members of scrutiny to be continually appraised of developments and to be issued with the revised proposals before they are considered by the council's cabinet.'

Schools and Post Office closures are
'A systematic attack on rural life'

Local campaigner and Conservative candidate Jesse Norman has slammed the Government's schools and post office closures as 'a systematic attack on rural life' in Great Britain. His comments came after the National Association of Small Schools condemned the Government for a 'U-turn, which shows in heavy squeezing of pupil funding and advice to LEAs that they should not have too many schools - an entirely new mantra, never formally announced.'

Commenting on the news, Jesse said 'The NASS shows that the Government is behind the recent pressure for schools closures. In effect, it is engaged in a systematic attack on rural life in this country. Look at the evidence: first the Government was caught using 'heat maps' in 2006 to push hospital closures onto non-Labour held seats: so seven times as many community hospitals have closed or are under threat in constituencies held by opposition MPs as by Labour. Then they announced the Post Office closures programme, which is expected to cut up to 22 Post Offices in Herefordshire later this year. Now finally we see the huge pressure from Whitehall, which is using the threat of withholding £8 million per year to bully the Council to close or merge our schools. It doesn't take Einstein to join the dots.'

Jesse and friends campaigning this weekend against Post Office closures.

Car damaged in Gloucester Road

A blue Citroen Berlingo sustained considerable damage to its nearside while parked unattended in Gloucester Road, at a time between 10.30pm on Saturday, 19th January and 12.30am on following Sunday. It is thought that a vehicle had struck it and left the scene.

The non stop vehicle may have traces of blue paint to its damaged area. Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to assist PC Wakefield of Ross-on-Wye Police Station so that the vehicle and person responsible can be traced. This can either be done directly by calling 08457 444888, or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Hereford Utd vs Cardiff City
'The match went off without any significant problems'

I have to admit that this is not what we at 'Wyenot News' heard. We heard alleged reports of much fighting between Cardiff and Hereford supporters and damage in Hereford City Centre. This is how the official Police press release reads:

'Police made four arrests as a result of the Hereford Vs Cardiff football match following an isolated incident which was quickly dealt with by the police. Four men were arrested for criminal damage.

Chief Inspector Shane HANCOCK said the large policing operation, with more than 100 officers on duty, had been a success. Police had prevented known troublemakers from both Hereford and Cardiff from causing any significant problems or becoming involved in any serious confrontations. He praised the overwhelming majority of supporters for their good behaviour.

“The match went off without any significant problems and the large crowd was able to watch the game in good atmosphere” said Chief Inspector HANCOCK. .'

Maybe the reports of alleged incidents which we at 'Wyenot News' heard about, if they happened (we were not actually there) occurred after the game was over, so they do not count as being football related.






Why go just local when you can get 'Googled' and reach the whole world for a fraction of the cost here?

(Fee payable in advance. Minimum 3 months. Page placement dependent on amount of news during any one week.)

Banshee at the Prince

Local ceilidh band, Banshee went down well at the Prince of Wales on Saturday evening. Although Banshee have played at the prince before, a good many people approached me after I had finished filming the trio for this week's WNTV News programme, telling me how much they were enjoying the music - that it was 'something different to the usual'.

Although Tina and I did not stay for long due to other commitments, we both enjoyed the part of the performance we saw and look forward to seeing Banshee again in the near future. This coming Saturday, 'New Jersey' will be playing at the Prince. We look forward to seeing you there.

Ref: DSC_4069

Cabinet Recommends Cut in Proposed Council Tax Rise

Cabinet members at Herefordshire Council decided to reduce the assumed level of council tax increase for next year from 4.7 per cent to 4.4 per cent.

Cabinet will confirm its recommendations to Council on the final level of council tax increase that will apply from April when it meets on February 24th. Council will determine Cabinet's council tax and budget recommendations for next year on Friday, 7th March.

The decision to press ahead with the 4.4 per cent increase came amid discussions to update the council's 'medium term financial management strategy' which broadly sets out the authority's financial framework until 2011.

Members heard that following a review of budgets, the council will make savings of just over £2 million next year in order to balance the books. These budget reductions will be made without affecting the level of services provided by becoming more efficient in the way it buys goods and services and manages contracts. However, Cabinet was told that Government funding is not generous compared with other authorities.

Herefordshire Council receives £764.82 per person from Government a year, which puts the authority in 38th position out of 47 in similar authorities. Each person receives around £173.02, or 18.4 per cent, less than the average.

To cope with the sharp rise in older people in the county, the financial strategy earmarks an extra £871,000 for adult services. In the longer term the government has indicated the council will get just over £2 million a year in 2009/10 and 2010/11 to fund all pressures including increased waste costs.

Tunnel Work to Start at Flood Alleviation Scheme

A giant boring machine will arrive in Ross on Thursday (January 31) 2008 ready to dig out a tunnel as part of the town's £7million Flood Alleviation Scheme..

Engineers from Owen Williams are managing the project on behalf of Herefordshire Council, Edmund Nuttall are the contractors and Morgan Est are the tunnel contractors.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said, 'Creating this tunnel will be one of the most exciting stages of the Flood Alleviation Scheme and will show people what a major feat of engineering the whole project is.

As part of making the community fully engaged during the works, we have invited schoolchildren to name the boring machine and create artwork for use around the site.'

Ken Henderson from Morgan Est is bringing considerable expertise to the Ross-on-Wye project, having previously spent three years working on the prestigious Channel Tunnel. Mr Henderson will be in charge of digging out the 350-metre long tunnel, termed an inverted siphon, using the 60-tonne machine which has a two-metre diameter.

The tunnel will be dug at a depth of 10 metres, starting from a rising shaft in the Homs Road car park and finishing at a falling shaft in King's Acre car park. Concrete segments will be slotted in to create the actual tunnel..

Mr Henderson said, 'Now the boring machine has arrived, we will be getting on with the task of digging out the tunnel. While nothing in comparison to the Channel Tunnel, with which I was involved, it is still a major feat of engineering and involves a lot of calculations to make sure it is right.

The topography of the site also means the tunnel cannot be built in a completely straight line but instead there have to be two shaped bends.'

Earth from the tunnel will be used to create a 1.7 metre high earth bund to the east of the A40 and this bund will create a water storage area during times of high flow.

Tunnelling work should be complete by April 2008. It is aimed to complete the whole scheme by July 2008.


The absolute deadline for Wyenot News stories and other items is 12:00, midday on Tuesday, for inclusion in the following day's edition.

PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER: This is an absolute deadline and not the time I am asking for articles to be sent in. Mondays and Tuesdays here at 'Wyenot News' are Hell with by far, the most events I cover occurring at the weekend. The photography that the public sees happening is only one tiny part of the whole picture (please excuse the pun) of running this weekly news publication and the bits of prep that people do not see, are actually the most time consuming part of getting the story out.

If at all possible, please send your story in as early as you can, rather than wait until the very last minute, so that I can have at least a fighting chance of getting to bed before 3:00 am every Tuesday and Wednesday morning after what has lately become two 18 hour working days on the trot.

Thank you very much for your understanding and help.



If you have a local news item or story you can submit it here
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