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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 184 - Wednesday, 6th February 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Cutting the tunnel under Ross begins - Ross Lions Club launch new web site - Stolen dog]
Page 2 [Andi McBurnie and Toby Lovell at the Red Lion - The King Arthur's cave Bats - Carnival News - Readers' Letters]
Page 3 [Health Care Through the Ages Exhibition - New Jersey at the Prince - Public Notices]

Page 4

[Buffet for St. Mary's - Whitchurch School - Ross Sports and leisure Council - Rugby - Weather Station]
Page 5 [News from around Herefordshire]

Love is in the air in High Town

Shilo scarf - Keep and Share (wool/cotton).

Whether you're a Romeo from Rotherwas, or a cupid from Cusop, you won't want to miss a special valentines craft market in Hereford later this month. Love-struck romantics from across the county will be hot-footing it to Hereford's High Town on Saturday, 9th February to add a touch of sparkle to this year's Valentine's day celebrations.

A special craft market has been organized in the heart of the city to celebrate the feast day of Saint Valentine, and to promote the rich and diverse crafts alive in the county.

'With 20 stalls of traditional and contemporary craft on show, High Town will be the place to find something truly original and unique for your special person this Valentine's day,' said Rachel Pritchard, the Council's Crafts Officer. 'So, if you're struggling to say it in a new and inspiring way, or simply want to indulge in unique and original gifts, come to the valentine craft market.

From the luxurious alternative designer knitwear of the acclaimed 'Keep & Share' company, to the deliciously delicate wire and enamel jewellery of well known and collectable local artist Rozie Keogh, the market will feature some of the finest artists working in Herefordshire today, and something for all tastes and budgets. I can guarantee that you'll find that something special which is worthy of the one you love this year. The good news is that you'll have to look no further than Hereford's High Town'..

The craft fair runs from 9am to 5pm and visitors will have the opportunity to chat with the craftsmen and women and commission individual pieces.

Wire and pearl bracelet - Rozie Keogh.

Promoting safety to cyclists

Ben Boswell, Herefordshire Council integrated transport assistant (right) urges a cyclist on the Great Western Way to be seen and be safe.

Herefordshire Council has been busy promoting cycle safety with a special event held at various locations throughout Hereford city. Officers from the council's integrated transport and road safety team were on hand at various locations along Great Western Way, one of the busiest routes for cyclists commuting to work, to promote safety to both cyclists and pedestrians.

Be seen, be safe was the major message of the Cycle Safety Awareness Day and cyclists were encouraged to improve their visibility to other road users by wearing high-visibility vests and fluorescent slap-its which can be worn around the wrist or ankle. LED light sets were also provided to cyclists who had inadequate lighting.

Councillor Brian Wilcox said, 'The event reached a good mixture of people who were cycling to and from work and college as well as people shopping or making leisure journeys. It is vital cyclists can be seen by other road users and this event showed how simple measures such as high-visibility vests and proper lighting can make all the difference and prevent accidents from happening'.

Following the success of this event, the integrated transport team will be planning further events during Bike Week, which runs from June 14th to 22nd and in October. Anyone wanting further advice on cycle safety should contact the council's integrated transport team on 01432 260514.

More Metal Theft Suspects Arrested in West Mercia

More arrests have been made as part of Project Livewire, West Mercia Constabulary's initiative to tackle metal theft across the region.

Three teenagers were arrested on suspicion of stealing metal drain covers in Telford. Police were called on Saturday, 26th January, after a member of the public reported seeing a group of men loading drain covers into a Ford Transit van. Police stopped the vehicle after it had left Tweedle Industrial Estate. The male suspects aged 19, 18 and 17 are currently on police bail.

In a separate incident in Hereford, five men aged between 20 and 44, were arrested at a scrap yard on suspicion of stealing metal the previous day from residential properties in the town. The five were arrested on Wednesday, 30th January.

All have been released on police bail while police enquiries continue.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Jon Roberts, from the Force Intelligence Bureau at West Mercia Constabulary, said, 'These latest arrests show that West Mercia Constabulary is committed to catching people who are suspected of stealing metal. Project Livewire was launched last summer by the force to tackle the growing trend for theft of metal. More than 50 people have been arrested since the start of the campaign in July 2007.'

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. West Mercia officers are working with neighbouring police forces and other partners to catch the thieves. .

Police in Evesham are investigating the theft of lead flashing from the roof of the Catholic Church in Evesham High St. It is believed the theft occurred at 2.40pm on Thursday, 24th Jan. The two male offenders involved were using a trolley and ran off when approached by a member of the public. They are described as white males. The first offender was aged about 17years old, 5ft 7' tall and was wearing a light coloured tracksuit with a baseball cap. His accomplice was aged about 20, was taller than the first male and was wearing dark clothing with a baseball cap.

Anyone with information for police about this incident should call 08457 444888 and ask for officers at Evesham or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Advice on Orchard Planting

Herefordshire Council, while keen to encourage the planting of more orchards in the county, is warning people not to allow trees to cause an obstruction to walkers or riders.

Rob Hemblade, Herefordshire Council's public rights of way manager, said, 'We are keen to encourage planting orchards as they form part of the historic landscape but many visitors come to the county to walk and it is important any orchard planting does not obstruct rights of way as this could lead to enforcement action being taken.

If you are planting trees on land through which there is a public right of way, please ensure the footpath or bridleway is kept clear of trees along its legal route according to the definitive map.'

People planting orchards should be aware the legal route of a right of way may be different from the actual route walked and, if in doubt, they are encouraged to contact Herefordshire Council's rights of way team before starting any work.

A gap must be left along the legal route of the footpath to allow at least two metres (three metres along bridleways) clear width at the height of the season when the trees are fully grown.

Extra waymarking may be needed to make up for losing sight of distant landmarks such as stiles and gates.

Care should also be taken when spraying trees as members of the public are likely to be close to them.

Herefordshire Council's Public Rights of Way team can be contacted for further advice on planting orchards on 01432 260572.

Walking Festival Caters for Disabled

As part of its commitment to making sure the county is accessible to disabled people, this year's Herefordshire Walking Festival features walks for both wheelchair users and visually impaired people.

This year the festival, which runs from 14th until 22nd June, features the launch of the Ross Buggy Walk, a circular four-mile route taking in some of the town's historic sights and is suitable for wheelchairs, mobility vehicles, pushchairs and buggies.

Herefordshire Council's public rights of way team, the Ross Group of the Ramblers Association and Shopmobility have set up this route, which will be launched at 10am on Saturday, 14th June and free scooters can be hired by calling 01989 763388.

For people with visual impairments, a special sensory walk has been included in this year's programme. Art and A Sensory Garden is a walk from 10am until 4pm in the Golden Valley which includes a visit to the Monnow Valley Arts Centre and a chance to explore its formal gardens with sculptures among scented plants. Priority will be given to the visually impaired and sighted guides will be available.

On Sunday, June 15, Flora and Fauna on the Hill is a tour around Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum and is suitable for electric mobility vehicles. People should either bring along their own vehicles or reserve one from Queenswood.

Hauntings and Horrors of Hereford on Monday, June 16 from 7.15pm until 8.45pm, is suitable for electric mobility and wheelchairs. This ghost walk offers a very different look at the city of Hereford.

Further details about the walking festival, sponsored by M & M of Leominster, are available by logging onto the website from early February. For a copy of the programme, telephone 01432 260185.

Temporary Traffic Lights on A49 Near Hereford

Motorists are being advised that temporary traffic lights are being used on the A49 just north of the Grafton Inn, near Hereford. The work began on Monday, 4th February.

The lights are in place on the southbound lane (the lane heading away from Hereford city) and will remain there until Friday, 8th February, although they will only be used during off-peak hours (9.30am - 3.30pm) to avoid adding to congestion during the rush hour.

The temporary lights are needed to allow the movement of Welsh Water equipment in the A49 and to allow workmen to begin the process of 'tying in' or joining up, the existing A49 and the new route of the road at this point.

One-way traffic will be maintained during this time.

Following this short period of roadworks, further temporary lights will be required to finish the roadworks in this location; this is scheduled to take place in early March.

Further details of these arrangements will be published closer to this date.

Use up Food in the Cupboard on Pancake Day

Herefordshire Council is encouraging people to enjoy Pancake Day, as the event can have an environmental benefit to add to its religious roots.

Pancake Day takes place next Tuesday, February 5 and marks Shrove Tuesday, the day before the Christian festival of Lent. Its traditions stem from households fattening themselves up before the 40 days or so of fasting before Easter.

The council's waste prevention team is encouraging residents to get creative and see what they can add to their pancakes from the food already in their cupboards. As well as creating sweet or savoury sensations, residents might also help to save on food waste.

Richard Wood, Herefordshire Council's waste services manager, said, 'Pancake day is a great time to get out the mixing bowls, frying pans and to whisk up some delicious snacks. It's great for using up items from your cupboards, like eggs, flour, milk and bananas, saving you money and waste.

In the UK we throw away a staggering third of the food we buy - most of which could be eaten. This means that for every three bags of food shopping brought home, one of them is effectively put straight in the bin.

This Pancake Day, have a look in your cupboards and get creative, pancakes can be enjoyed sweet or savoury. And if you find you can't eat all your pancakes, don't throw them away, store them in the fridge for two days or freeze them for up to a month.'

Residents can log on to to discover more simple steps that can be taken that will help to reduce your food waste and great recipe ideas. Alternatively they can check out the ideas of the Mission Impossible scheme at or call 01905 766883 to request a free copy of the LOVE FOOD hate waste leaflet.

The leaflet is bursting with ideas on how to keep food fresh, perfect portion sizes, time and money saving ideas and a few fantastic recipes to help residents make the most of their food.

Council Appeals for Potential Foster Carers

Herefordshire Council is again seeking to recruit a wide range of carers to offer placements for children who need temporary and longer term foster homes.

Potential foster carers can earn up to 28,800 a year if they look after two teenagers. Fostering is much more than a job and requires special people who can deal with many of the emotional issues that children in care can bring with them.

Local children need local foster families who can provide a safe and secure home where all the needs of a foster child will be met. The council also needs carers who are flexible, patient and understanding, who can work with teenagers through difficult times and offer respite placements on a regular basis.

Applications are invited from potential carers who are single, married, gay or in a partnership, white or from an ethnic background, able bodied or living with a disability.

To encourage people to find out if fostering is for them, an open day and evening has been organized for Thursday, 7th February between 1pm and 8pm in central Hereford. There will be an opportunity to talk to other foster carers, social workers and managers about working with children. Those interested need to book a session by ringing 01432 262830.

Rebecca Plato, fostering manager, said, 'We can never get enough foster carers. It takes quite a special person to do this amazing job so we offer each foster carer their own support worker and ongoing training, including the opportunity to gain an NVQ three qualification. Support from a whole range of services is available, including out of hours help and a buddying system where someone will always be available to provide advice and guidance.

Fostering can be challenging, but can also be extremely rewarding. Not everyone wants to make a full time long term commitment to it, but we do also need people in loving homes who are able to offer a few days here and there for children who need some space for a while.'

Award for Hi-tech Classroom Resources

ICT advisers from Herefordshire Council's school improvement service have scooped an award for their groundbreaking work with new technology in primary classrooms.

Herefordshire was one of the first counties in England to install electronic interactive whiteboards in every primary school, now almost every classroom has one. The days of blackboards and chalk have been replaced with computerized whiteboards that can be used to display written text, access the internet, play sound, record data and share videos with the children..

Herefordshire's primary school ICT advisers Claire Crump and Mark Sanderson have worked closely with Promethean, the leading UK manufacturer of interactive whiteboards for more than eight years, helping install whiteboards in the county's primary schools and training teachers to use them.

Claire and Mark have also been working closely with schools to help them make the most of this powerful technology which has the capacity to revolutionise the classroom environment. For example the whiteboards can help a lesson about Egypt come to life: the teacher can use the whiteboard to show the children how their name would look in hieroglyphics, let them have a go at writing it themselves, then take a tour around Egypt today via the internet or capture their imagination by showing a film about the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb.

Currently, the national curriculum stipulates that teachers have to teach literacy in three or four week blocks within the themes of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. To help do this and maximize the potential of the whiteboard, Mark and Claire, with a small team of dedicated teachers around Herefordshire, have produced around 30 electronic flip charts for teachers all over the country to use free of charge.

The flip charts contain all that is needed for a teacher to deliver each three or four week unit of work to their children. Comprehensive notes are included in each flip chart explaining the learning and teaching activities and also providing guidance on how to use slightly more advanced features of the software using a mixture of written texts, pictures, sound files and video.

In recognition of the work they have done, Promethean issued them with an award at the prestigious BETT show in London. To help them with their training, Claire and Mark have been given a set of 32 voting devices which can be used by teachers to ask children multiple-choice questions. At the touch of a button the children's scores can be counted and interpreted into spreadsheets for the teacher. In addition, every primary school will receive a Promethean wand (worth around 40 each), which helps younger children to reach and control all parts of the whiteboard.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said, 'I would like to thank Claire, Mark and their colleagues who have been part of a working party to push this project forward. They have helped teachers take on board new, innovative, interactive ways of teaching our children. The resources they have designed will help teachers across the country as well as Herefordshire, make the most of new technology, save on planning time and help our children understand the world we live in today.

Brookfield School Receives Specialist Status

The Brookfield School in Hereford is the only school in the county to be awarded specialist status in behaviour management.

The news that the school has been successful in its application for this specialist status comes just four months after an Ofsted inspection team judged the school to be outstanding, the highest accolade the inspection team could give.

The Brookfield School caters for 75 children aged five to sixteen who have emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. Each pupil has their own individually developed education and behaviour plan. The school has to work closely with its community partners to make sure the programme of behaviour management works well both in and out of the school environment.

The new specialist status award recognizes the school's expertise in managing students with challenging behaviour and associated difficulties.

Speaking of the school's success, Mrs Oremi Evans, head teacher, said, 'This status is the result of dedicated, hardworking, enthusiastic, experienced staff who provide an environment where students are valued, respected and challenged to improve their self-worth.

I am inordinately proud of my school, its staff and all the active participants who have travelled with us on this successful journey since our establishment in 2001.'

The school's specialist status will help it extend the curriculum, and improve opportunities for the children and students who will be able to experience success in even more areas. It will also mean the school's staff will be able to continue and expand the sharing of good practice locally, regionally and nationally.

Ledbury TIC to be Based in Historic Masters House

Ledbury Tourist Information Centre is to move from its current location on the High Street to the Master's House a few minutes away to make use of the historic property owned by Herefordshire Council.

The lease on the current site expires at the end of February and this is an opportunity to relocate to premises without the high rents and rates which the council has to subsidise.

There has been local concern regarding the move, however moving the TIC aims to make best use of the Masters House in Ledbury which is an historic site but is currently under used.

During 2007 the Ledbury and Area Development Trust was commissioned to consult local people on their preferred use of the Masters House. There was overwhelming support from people wanting the library to be based at the Masters House and Herefordshire Council is pursuing funding to build an extension on the site to cater for the library and also other services to create a Ledbury Centre.

Out of the research came a business plan, again produced by the Ledbury and Area Development Trust, which recommended the TIC moving to the Masters House when the lease expires, as the first step in developing the site as a centre for the town.

Herefordshire Council considered that this proposal, when considered alongside other options, was the best available.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community Services said, 'I'm aware there are local concerns over moving the TIC from the High Street and it no longer being able to promote businesses in the centre's windows. However, the nature of tourism has changed and information centres no longer need to be on the High Street.

As the work by the Ledbury and Area Trust highlighted, this is an opportunity to make the most of the Masters House and start the longer term process of creating a great resource for the Town that combines the modern and the historic, for people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. We also intend to have much more signage to the TIC as I'm aware that this is a concern for local people and tourism operators.'

At the beginning of March the TIC will move into the Masters House in a temporary position, until later in the month when refurbishment is complete. There will then be a grand opening with special events and activities to mark the reopening.

Colwall to get New Bridge

Network Rail intends to bring forward its bridge rebuilding programme in respect of Colwall and proposes to build a proper new bridge next year.

It had been planned to provide a narrow bailey bridge to take vehicle traffic with pedestrians on the footway of the existing bridge as an interim measure pending the construction of a new bridge.

However, the assessed capacity of the main girders (the large edge girders) of Colwall Bridge does not allow this to happen because the report has calculated the girders can only take their own weight.

It would be possible to redesign the scheme but this will take a significant time due primarily to the need to find an alternative pedestrian route, a pedestrian bridge or a walkway attached to the proposed Bailey bridge.

Herefordshire Council and Network Rail officers have therefore concluded, using the results of the assessment report, that the best solution is to proceed directly to the construction of a new bridge.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said, 'The decision to go straight to building a new bridge is taken in the light of the final assessment which finds that the proposed bailey bridge would not be satisfactory.

It will also be very much better for a new permanent bridge to be built as soon as possible and I welcome the agreement of Network Rail to bring forward the programme and give this new bridge the priority it deserves.'

Network Rail's route director Dave Ward said, 'Going for a permanent solution is the best way forward for all concerned. If we were able to install a bailey bridge as a temporary measure, it could have been in position for five years or more before the bridge was completely rebuilt. Building a completely new bridge next year will mean there will only be one lot of disruption for the villagers and they won't have to wait for several years for their new bridge.'

Key to this proposal is the need for Network Rail to obtain the agreement of train operators to close the line to allow construction work to take place.

Herefordshire Council and Network Rail will now be working out a programme for work once an agreement has been reached with the train operating companies.

It is proposed that representatives from both Herefordshire Council and Network Rail will attend a parish council meeting to explain the proposals, the rationale behind the proposals and the timetable.

A substantial amount of work needs to be undertaken and regular meetings have been set up between Herefordshire Council and Network Rail in order to progress the work as quickly as possible.

February is National Scams Awareness Month

As part of SCAM awareness month, Herefordshire Trading Standards Service is taking part in a national campaign led by the Office of Fair Trading ( OFT) called 'SCAMNESTRY' to highlight the growing problem of SCAMS and to help prevent local residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable, from being conned - potentially out of 000's of pounds!!

Every year an estimated three million UK consumers fall victim to scams sent by post, email, text, the phone and internet. One of the main themes of this year's campaign is to highlight the hidden misery of thousands of elderly and vulnerable consumers who repeatedly fall victim to scams such as bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draw and sweepstakes, fake psychics and 'miracle' health cures..

Anyone can fall for a scam but the elderly are often hit hardest. OFT research shows that older victims are likely to lose nearly twice as much per scam as others. Victims are often socially isolated, over-trusting or afflicted by illnesses such as dementia and can be repeatedly targeted by the scammers. Many lose their life savings and suffer depression and ill health as a result.

A tragic example of this locally, relates to an elderly gentlemen living alone in Herefordshire who lost in excess of 50,000 over a two year period to repeated mail shots. He frequently received two full mail sacks of such post each week..

During the month of February, Herefordshire Trading Standards Service is providing a number of mail boxes at libraries and info shops throughout the county for people to deposit any such unsolicited mail shots, leaflets or flyers. Details of such scams are to be collated to ascertain the top ten that are operating both locally and nationally.

Mike Pigrem Herefordshire Council's trading standards manager, said, 'Scams can come in many different guises and once you have responded, you're more likely to get targeted again and again.

People who get caught by these scammers are often the most vulnerable within our society and may be unable to protect themselves or unaware of their rights.. I would urge you that If you know of someone who may be vulnerable, please check that they are not being targeted. The aim of this 'Scamnestry' is make people think twice before they respond to such schemes and hopefully to prevent them from being conned.'

Babysitting Courses are a Big Hit with Young People

Young people in the north of the county are signing up to baby-sitting courses thanks to Coningsby Children's Centre in Leominster. Eleven young people from the Minster College aged 13-15 have successfully completed a ten-week programme designed to provide all the basic skills and confidence needed to become a baby-sitter.

The course was put together by children's centre staff and contained a wide range of topics including basic child development, health and safety in the home, introduction to first aid and personal safety and assertiveness. Child protection was covered together with drugs and alcohol awareness, the rights and responsibilities of a baby-sitter. and baby care. They also had fun learning how to make toys and games.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people, said, 'Ten weeks is a big commitment for young people to make, but they all did it and made new friends as well as developing their childcare skills.

There is a great deal of regulation involved in childcare at the moment. Parents need to know their babies and children are safe in the hands of carers and this includes baby-sitters. The skills these young people have learned will not only help them become better baby-sitters. and develop early parenting skills, but will help them develop their self confidence as well.'

The young people were presented with certificates and personal alarms at a presentation evening which their parents and carers were invited to. The course has been so successful that further courses have begun in Wigmore and Kington, and there are plans to run another in Weobley after Easter.

Further details about how to get involved are available from Lorna Williamson on 01432 383340 or 07792 880 738.

Protest Rally Organized for Hereford City Centre

Herefordshire Council is working closely with the organizers of a planned rally against schools closures to ensure the event can take place safely, with minimal disruption for the travelling public.

The Herefordshire Against Closing Schools (HACS) rally is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 13th February 2008, the same day as the livestock market, in Hereford city centre. The council's highways and transportation department and the police have agreed a route with the organizers, after a very productive meeting this week.

The marchers are expected to meet at Merton Meadow car park at 10.00am, where the organizers will have arranged lavatories and refreshments. The rally will start around 11.00am and will proceed through Blackfriars Street and along Widemarsh Street, crossing at Blueschool Street, which will be closed to traffic at this time with diversions organized by the highways department.

The marchers will turn left into High Town, through St Peter's Street and into St Owens Street, which will have only limited parking available during the event. The procession will then turn right along St Ethelbert Street, into Castle Street and proceed through Cathedral Close, turning right along Broad Street (which means West Street will be closed to traffic). The rally then turns back into High Town, where it will finish. The rally is expected to disperse at around 12.30 pm.

The council will post details of the rally on its web site

'We wish everyone a peaceful and safe rally,' said Michael Hainge, Director of Environment for the council.

We ask that those who were planning to visit the city or travel through it from 10.30 to 12.30 that day, make allowances for any disruption, which the council and the police will keep to a minimum, working closely with the organizers of the rally.'


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