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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 186 - Wednesday, 20th February 2008
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Chance in a million - Llangarron Leap Day - Ofsted - Fire Brigade rescue an injured swan]
Page 2 [Jeff is 65 and Viv is gobsmacked - The Selfish Giant visits kids at Ross Library]
Page 3 [Death of Brendon Jones - Nature Watch-Heading for a total lunar eclipse]

Page 4

[Frosty Mornings - Mike Arnison's Wildlife - Anti Bullying Conference - Vine Tree - Outstanding year for Macmillan]
Page 5 [Andy M - Art Auction - Mother's Day gifts - J'adore les langues - Jesse's new book - Co-ops - Rugby - Weather]
Page 6 [The news from around Herefordshire]
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS

Fatal road collision near Kington

Police are appealing for witnesses to a road traffic collision on the A4111 near to Kington in which a 17-year-old man died. The collision happened at around 7.15pm on Friday, 15th February and involved a blue and grey Rover 214. The vehicle left the road on a bend around half a mile from Kington and overturned, coming to rest on the driveway of a house, demolishing part of a wall.

The car was substantially damaged and all three emergency services attended. Ambulance crews treated the driver - the sole occupant of the car - at the scene before he was taken to Hereford County Hospital. He died a short time after arrival.

The road was closed while emergency services dealt with the collision and collision investigators began their examination. It was reopened shortly after 2am once the vehicle had been removed and debris cleared up. The driver of the Rover was later identified as being Mr Michael Jennings, 17, from Kington.

The Herefordshire Coroner has been notified of Mr Jennings’ death and a post mortem is due to take place on Wednesday. A formal inquest will be opened and adjourned following the post mortem.

Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or saw the Rover as it travelled along the A4111 immediately beforehand. Anybody with information should contact PC Steve Broom at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 651s of 15th February.


Family tribute to Michael Jennings

The family of a teenager who died in a road collision on Friday, 15th February have described him as someone who 'lived life at a fast pace but lived it to the full'. Michael Jennings - known to his friends as Mikey - died when the car he was driving left the road and overturned half a mile from Kington. He was just 17.

Brought up in the Presteigne area before his family moved to Kington around three years ago, Mikey was a former John Beddoes High School pupil and was well known within the Young Farmers' movement and Youth Clubs at both Kington and Presteigne. After leaving school he trained as a butcher in Weobley but latterly had been considering a career with the Youth Service - something his personality would have suited well.

While his family say he had no love for academics, he was very much a people person and could immediately fill a room with his presence. The popular teenager had a wide circle of friends and was well known as a fun-loving and gregarious young man, whose infectious laugh meant people of all ages were immediately at ease in his company. Indeed, he had volunteered his time at an old people's home as he worked towards a Duke of Edinburgh Services Award - proving a big hit with the residents in the process.

His family said they have been inundated with support, kind words and recollections from his many friends since his death. In a statement they said he would always be very dear to their hearts. 'You could probably sum up Mike best as a bit of a loveable rogue with a love for life - most people would agree with that description,' said the family statement.

'He lived it a very fast pace and packed a lot into his time - you'd very often hear him say, "I can't stop, I've got things to do." Everything had to be done immediately and there was only one way - Mike's way. He could be quite wilful and determined at times.

But alongside this he was a very caring person. He was the boy that would see his dad in the street and run up to him to give him a hug, not bothered at all as to who might be around to see it. He would also do unexpected things like coming home from the shops with chocolates for you, completely out of the blue. He was very family-centred and a great brother to his younger sister. He was the person friends went to when they needed someone to talk to. He had great compassion.

Michael knew great happiness in his life and was a character of extremes: when he was happy his feet didn't touch the ground and when he was sad he was very sad and his emotions were very real.'

The statement concluded, 'Although this is a great tragedy for us, we know that Mike would be happy that no-one else was hurt and so no other family is having to go through what we are.'

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the collision, which happened at around 7.15pm on Friday, 15th February on the A4111. The car Michael was driving, a blue and grey Rover 214 was headed towards Hereford when it left the road on a bend and overturned, half a mile from Kington. Anybody with information, or who saw the car travelling along the A4111 prior to the collision, is asked to contact PC Steve Broom at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888, quoting incident number 651s of 15th February.


Michael Jennings.

Burglary at Hereford Buttermarket

Police in Hereford are appealing for information following an overnight burglary at the historic Buttermarket in the city centre. Officers were alerted at 6am when custodians arrived to prepare for the day's trading and found that a number of the stalls had been broken into. It is not known if a number of people were involved or whether this was a single individual, but entry was gained some time between 6pm on Thursday and 6am Friday. Police are also still trying to establish whether those responsible were able to secrete themselves inside the building when traders left at the end of the previous day or whether forced entry was made later.

PC Martin Carr from Hereford Police explained, 'There are a mixture of stalls within the Buttermarket and thirteen of them have been entered by the intruders. Some of the stalls have had cash floats stolen, but these have only been nominal sums of around £10 - £30, but tobacco products have also been taken and the tobacconist appears to have suffered the greatest loss. We are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard suspicious activity around the Buttermarket overnight. It is quite likely that there would have been a fair amount of noise caused when the doors to some of the stalls were kicked open'.

The Buttermarket was closed to the public on Friday morning and Scenes of Crimes Officers worked as quickly as possible to complete their forensic examinations to minimize any disruption to businesses. The doors were opened once again to shoppers at 12.15pm. Officers are now studying CCTV footage from the surrounding area from overnight and following up other lines of enquiry.

Anyone with information about the burglary should contact PC Martin Carr at Hereford Police station on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 83-s of 15th February. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.



Walkers adopt footpath

Herefordshire's public rights of way department is delighted the ECHO Walking Group has adopted a popular footpath in Leominster. The path, which runs from the top of Eaton Hill to the Worcester Road, is well used by a variety of walkers, including the ECHO Walking for Health group, part of a local charity supporting people with learning difficulties.

The ECHO Walking for Health group came about after Herefordshire Council launched a Walking for Health scheme in Leominster in November 2004. Dennis Downey, Walking for Health co-ordinator, said the idea for adopting the footpath came when the group was following the Priory History Trail no.2. which returns to Leominster on top of Eaton Hill above the Worcester road. He said: 'We found a stretch of this very old path was so overgrown with brambles and nettles that we had to find our way around the path despite the fact we could clearly see the footpath sign showing where we should have been able to go. This is possibly part of an ancient drovers trail and, as such, has great historical and spiritual importance both for walkers and Leominster community. The path leads to some very beautiful old steps which drop down from the path to the field below and lead you home to Leominster.

Our group felt it was a great shame not to be able to walk where so many feet had walked before and members felt they would like to offer to clear up the route as a thank you for the right to walk on all footpaths in Herefordshire, and a gift back to the community we live in.'

Herefordshire Council will provide the group with protective equipment such as gloves and goggles and the first working party will start clearing the path this month. The group will then continue to keep the path clear with follow-up work sessions.

Rob Hemblade, Herefordshire Council's public rights of way officer, said, 'We are delighted this group has agreed to adopt this footpath and hope similar groups within the county may consider doing the same. There are around 4,400 registered public rights of way in Herefordshire, ranging in length from a few metres to several kilometres, and totalling 3,400 km so we do have a wide area to cover with limited resources. Nothing can beat local knowledge and having people who use footpaths regularly taking on the role of maintaining them, not only helps us to improve the network but also helps the many people who enjoy walking in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside.'

If you would like more information about adopting a footpath, you are welcome to call Rob Hemblade on 01432 261981.


The ECHO Walking Group which has adopted a public footpath in Leominster.

Members of the ECHO Walking Group clearing the footpath at Eaton Hill.

Ledbury robbery - did you see two youths?

Police investigating a robbery at a housing association premises in Ledbury are appealing for sightings of the two offenders. Officers were called to the Elgar Housing premises in New Street at around 2.15pm on Friday after two youths entered and demanded money from staff. They left on foot with an amount of cash, although it is not known in which direction they then headed.

The two youths are described as being in their late teens and wore dark-coloured clothing, including hats or hoods and scarves over their faces. No weapons are thought to have been involved and no-one was injured in the incident.

Police are currently conducting a search in the area and officers are also on site at the New Street premises. Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw the youths as they left the area is asked to contact Herefordshire Police on 08457 444888 quoting incident number 408-s of 15th February.



Police Prepare For Big Local Soccer Derby

Extra police will be on duty for the big all-ticket local derby between Shrewsbury Town and Hereford United on Saturday. The fixture is expected to attract a crowd of around 7,000 and police are urging fans to arrive at the new ground in Oteley Road in good time.

The match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday. More than 100 police officers will be on duty helping with traffic and crowd management. A spokesman said, 'This is an attractive match and a large crowd is expected. More than 1,000 Hereford fans will be making the journey up the A49 to Shrewsbury and they will have to allow sufficient time to park up and to make their way to the new ground. Supporters of both clubs are asked to arrive early to avoid any last minute congestion.

We would advise visiting supporters to check the Shrewsbury Town FC website for directions to the ground and in particular, for parking arrangements. There is no general parking for fans at the ground but there are a number of established parking areas, including the Shirehall, with park and ride facilities'.

Police believe a small number of Hereford fans may have bought tickets in the Shrewsbury end of the ground. 'We understand about 30 or 40 Hereford supporters have obtained tickets in the Shrewsbury area and they will not be allowed entry. We advise anyone with such a ticket to contact Hereford United FC to make arrangements for changing their tickets. We understand the Hereford allocation has not sold out and that tickets are available.'

Fans are also being reminded it is an all-ticket match and no tickets are being sold on the day. Meanwhile, although police are not expecting any trouble, they will be prepared to deal with any troublemakers. 'It should be a really good game and we don't want it spoilt for the true supporters of both sides by a small minority who might be intent on causing problems. Anyone causing trouble or becoming involved in anti social behaviour will be dealt with robustly and is likely to end up in court,' added the spokesperson.



Coming to a screen near you…

They are unlikely to ever get nominated for an Oscar, but a series of on-line videos in a handful of languages giving advice about affordable housing in Herefordshire has become an overnight hit. The eight short videos are being screened on the Home Point website to help local people, particularly those who don't speak English, understand how to sign up with the organization to secure affordable housing in Herefordshire.

'We went live with the videos on 1st February and since then we've had an amazing response from customers and already had lots of request from other teams and organizations for DVD copies of the guides - we weren't expecting that,' said Home Point manager Jamie Burns.

Home Point works with Herefordshire Council and the main housing associations in the county to manage the provision of affordable housing. The idea for the 'talking brochures' came about following a review (an equality and diversity assessment) to assess how accessible affordable housing is to people who have language and literacy issues.

'The advantage of using video guides is that they can effectively help a wide range of customers - this is especially important as we found that many struggle or have little interest in reading through brochures and other written material. We also wanted a media that was particularly accessible to our customers with hearing, visual, literacy and language difficulties - one of the videos includes British Sign Language.' Eight video guides have been produced alongside the leaflets and brochures already published. The videos cover a variety of subjects including an introduction to Home Point, details of how to register, how Home Point makes assessments and how to bid for properties'.

Cllr Olwyn Barnett, cabinet member for social care adults and health, said, 'If Home Point continues to get the kind of positive feedback it's already getting it will consider producing more specific guides on a range of housing related topics and other services. The amount of positive feedback so far is extremely encouraging - we strongly believe that viewing the guides dramatically improves understanding and retention of information compared to the normal brochures used in the past.'

The videos can be viewed at http://www.home-point.org/index.html.



Council demonstrates use of food waste disposers

Herefordshire Council wants to show residents the benefits of food waste disposers. The council's waste prevention team will be out and about in Maylord Orchards shopping centre on Friday, 22nd February until 3.30pm to spread the word about how disposers can help cut down the amount of rubbish put in bins and sent to landfill sites. Staff will demonstrate how they work and also give out information on the highly successful cashback scheme, 'Sink Your Waste'.

The scheme enables local residents to claim up to £80 back when they install a food waste disposer. Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing, said, 'It is important that less waste goes to landfill and using a food waste disposer will help residents to do just that. Not only do these under-sink units prevent food waste from going to landfill, they also contribute to the production of renewable energy from waste water treatment works. They're great if you're looking for an easy, clean and environmentally responsible way of getting rid of your kitchen waste.'

Under 'Sink Your Waste' Herefordshire residents, and those in Worcestershire too, can buy a food waste disposer from wherever they choose. Then, after having it fitted, a cashback cheque for £20, £50 or £80 will be returned depending on the amount spent, by filling in a simple claim form and sending it in with relevant receipts. More details of the scheme, including claim forms, can be obtained by ringing 01905 766883 or downloaded from www.sinkyourwaste.com



Evening event helps keep Kilpeck safe

A special evening aimed at boosting community safety knowledge is being organized in Kilpeck by the parish council and local police officers. The Community Safety Evening takes place on Thursday, 21st February at 7.30pm, in Kilpeck Village Hall.

It will give local residents the chance to meet representatives from the Hereford Rural South Local Policing Team, as well as Kilpeck Group Parish Council. Guest speakers from a number of agencies will be holding presentations during the evening, including a home safety talk by from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue service on fire safety and another talk highlighting the Smartwater property marking system. This is the latest weapon the police are endorsing to combat crime - just part of the crime prevention advice that will be available. The event will also gave the local parishes the chance to update their websites and parish plans, as well as gather support for Neighbourhood Watch and other schemes.

Similar ‘road show’ evenings have proved a great success in Peterchurch, Orcop and Little Dewchurch already, allowing the communities in each area to have direct engagement with their Local Policing Teams, as well as being able to get invaluable crime prevention advice and literature to take away.

Local Policing Sergeant Robin Davies explained, 'We put on the first in this series of road shows last year and they were extremely well-received. The road shows help us to engage with communities that may not have previously seen too much of the police because they have relatively low crime levels and there have been fewer calls made to us. I hope our presence, time and attention at these road shows will reassure those communities that we do care and are trying to engage with as many people and areas as we can and, quite rightly, that should not always be after a crime has occurred! We are looking to advise people of a variety of crime prevention initiatives as well as keeping themselves and their property safe, which is why we have involved the other agencies - a key part of the PACT (Partners And Communities Together) process.'

Refreshments will be available on the evening and there is no charge to attend - all are welcome to come along. For further details, you can contact the Hereford Rural South Local Policing Team by calling 01432 346756 or 07779 141232 or alternatively, Kilpeck Parish Clerk Malcolm Walker on 01981 241151. All of the contact details for Local Policing Teams in Herefordshire are available on the West Mercia website at www.westmercia.police.uk - just enter your postcode to find which officers cover your home area.



Mysterious Characters Give Road Safety Message to Pupils

Herefordshire Council's road safety unit has booked the Tiny Giants Theatre Company to perform their drama'"Baron Chance &The Invincibles' to Key Stage 2 pupils in primary schools around the county.

The drama will be performed to 30 primary schools throughout a three week period beginning on Monday, 25th February.

The play follows Baron Chance who shows the pupils how the game of chance works. The other characters 'The Fates' remind the pupils that they are in control of their own destiny.

During the play the mysterious characters observe the behaviour of two children - The Invincibles. The Baron waits around until they take a chance and their fate is then decided upon.

The play covers pedestrian training, seatbelts, crossing between parked cars and issues regarding travel wise and green travel plans.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said, 'The consequences of a young child being involved in a road traffic collision can be devastating and affects so many people.

There are different methods used to try and convey road safety messages to pupils, this is a professional way but at the same time it is great fun and educational.'

The props used by the Tiny Giants include some ingenious masks, lights, soundscape, three original songs and a gripping storyline.



Outbuilding in Leominster Damaged

Police are investigating damage to a garden outbuilding in The Bargates, Leominster, which was broken into between Monday, 4th February and Tuesday, 12th.

The building, which is in the back garden of the premises,- was locked and secured by the owner, but a forced entry was made. Items of furniture, including 10 kitchen units, were dragged into the garden and shed windows were smashed, as were panes of glass in a nearby greenhouse. A number of kitchen utensils were stolen.

The garden backs onto Leominster Building Supplies and a pathway runs behind it.

Anybody who saw or heard suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact PC Tony Shaw at Leominster Police Station on 08457 444888.



Hereford Pub Burgled

Police are appealing to people who were in a city centre pub when a burglary took place to come forward with any information that can help their enquiries.

During the lunchtime trade period on Wednesday, 6th February, an unknown individual entered a private area at the Rose & Crown public house in Ledbury Road, Hereford. A substantial amount of cash was removed before the person left the building, probably through the cellar doors and into the car park.

Police are keen to speak to a group of people who are now known to have been having lunch in the pub at around 1pm that day as they may have important witness information.

They, or anybody else who saw suspicious activity at the pub that afternoon, are asked to contact PC Jennifer Richards at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888.



Residents Encouraged to Continue Swap Shop Success

Herefordshire Council is hoping residents will carry on the enthusiasm for exchanging unwanted items that was generated by the hugely successful Swap Shops..

Hereford as well as Worcester, Kidderminster and Bromsgrove hosted events that were kicked off by the invincible energy of the Swap Shop king himself Keith Chegwin. More than 2,100 residents attended the sessions throughout January to trade a host of unwanted items.

Many said they would go again if more events were held and now the council's waste prevention team is encouraging anyone that wants to stage their own Swap Shop. Advice will be given to any school or community group that feels they can handle the raw enthusiasm that will be created.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment and strategic Housing, said, 'As an authority we are keen to encourage people not to send items to landfill and Swap Shops help to drive home the important message about reusing items. They are also fun, community events and I would appeal to everyone to hold their own Swap Shops.'

Keith Chegwin's zest, enthusiasm and humour encouraged passing shoppers to pop into the first event which was held at Worcester Guildhall on Saturday, 5th January. In total, more than 2,100 members of the public came out in force to the four swap shops held in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Young and old swapped an array of random items such as traditional favourites battleships to a Bag puss teddy, china plates to wine glasses. Old paperbacks, videos, bric-a-brac, small furniture and unwanted Christmas presents all found new homes.

Volunteers from local charities St Richard's Hospice and the Duckworth Trust generously gave their time to help support the Worcester event, as did the Newstarts furniture project in Bromsgrove. These charities demonstrate and promote the principle of reuse throughout their organizations.

To find more information about running your own Swap Shop or other reuse initiatives should call 01905 768227 or visit www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk.


Residents Encouraged to Continue Swap Shop Success

Herefordshire Council is hoping residents will carry on the enthusiasm for exchanging unwanted items that was generated by the hugely successful Swap Shops..

Hereford as well as Worcester, Kidderminster and Bromsgrove hosted events that were kicked off by the invincible energy of the Swap Shop king himself Keith Chegwin. More than 2,100 residents attended the sessions throughout January to trade a host of unwanted items.

Many said they would go again if more events were held and now the council's waste prevention team is encouraging anyone that wants to stage their own Swap Shop. Advice will be given to any school or community group that feels they can handle the raw enthusiasm that will be created.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment and strategic Housing, said, 'As an authority we are keen to encourage people not to send items to landfill and Swap Shops help to drive home the important message about reusing items. They are also fun, community events and I would appeal to everyone to hold their own Swap Shops.'

Keith Chegwin's zest, enthusiasm and humour encouraged passing shoppers to pop into the first event which was held at Worcester Guildhall on Saturday, 5th January. In total, more than 2,100 members of the public came out in force to the four swap shops held in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Young and old swapped an array of random items such as traditional favourites battleships to a Bag puss teddy, china plates to wine glasses. Old paperbacks, videos, bric-a-brac, small furniture and unwanted Christmas presents all found new homes.

Volunteers from local charities St Richard's Hospice and the Duckworth Trust generously gave their time to help support the Worcester event, as did the Newstarts furniture project in Bromsgrove. These charities demonstrate and promote the principle of reuse throughout their organizations.

To find more information about running your own Swap Shop or other reuse initiatives should call 01905 768227 or visit www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk.


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