place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 187 - Wednesday, 27th February 2008
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS
Cards to Clehonger Primary School
parliamentary candidate Jesse Norman and Shadow Schools
Secretary Michael Gove MP were privileged to award the prizes
at a special event last Friday at Clehonger Primary School.
The pupils were asked to design a Valentines Day card with
a difference: instead of addressing the cards to a boy or
girlfriend, they wrote them to the school, to say why they
valued it so much and did not want it to be closed.
the event the competition was so close that ten girls and
boys were awarded prizes. Earlier Jesse and Mr Gove led
a lively discussion among the pupils on the same topic,
before singing the school song. 'What a superb occasion'.
Jesse, who also runs schools campaign website SchoolsFirst.org.uk,
afterwards said, 'I feel honoured to have been asked along.
And I was amazed by the variety and quality of the children's
Valentines Day cards. It is very good to be able to bring
the Shadow Minister himself to visit our schools in Herefordshire,
so that he can see first hand how much is done with the
little Government funding we receive.'
the previous night Mr Gove had also been the special guest
at a working supper of teachers, heads and schools campaigners
at the Herefordshire College of Technology. In the course
of nearly ninety minutes of Q&A, he spoke on a very wide
range of educational issues, and reiterated his opposition
at the highest level to rural school closures.
Candidate, Jesse Norman and Shadow Schools Secretary, Michael Grove
at Clehonger Primary School.
along to Hereford's Shopmobility scheme
scheme which helps hundreds of shoppers with mobility problems
each year to get around Hereford is holding an open day
for people to find out what they can offer. Shopmobility,
which is tucked away in a corner of the Maylord Orchards
car park, will throw open its doors for two days, on Friday,
29th February and Saturday, 1st March, to show what they've
got on offer.
main aim of these days is to help people with a temporary
or permanent physical disability, their families, friends
and carers to see for themselves what Shopmobility can do
to help people with improved access to shopping and other
leisure experiences,' said Cllr Glenda Powell, Chairman
of the Hereford Shopmobility liaison committee.
Shopmobility scheme has been running since June 1990. We
have 17 scooters, nine electric wheelchairs and 12 manual
wheelchairs which we loan out free of charge,' added Cllr
Lawes, from Herefordshire Access for All, said, 'We are
proud to have been in partnership with Hereford City and
Herefordshire Council since the beginning of Hereford Shopmobility
service. Over the years our fund-raising efforts have fulfilled
our commitment to provide, maintain and insure all the vehicles
in use and to make certain that a good, reliable fleet has
always been available.'
Brian Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation,
said, 'It's amazing what a difference the scheme makes to
people's lives when they visit Hereford. As well as having
regular customers from across the county, we also cater
for lots of visitors to the city who are extremely grateful
for the service which allows them to enjoy what we have
on offer. We are proud of the service we provide and we
simply want more people to know about us and how we can
is not necessary for visitors on the open days - just turn
up between 9am and 4.45pm. The open day is part of a national
awareness event organized by the National Federation of
Shopmobility which brings together a network of around 350
Shopmobility schemes. It is estimated that nationally 1.5
million people benefit from Shopmobility schemes on about
3.5 million trips when they spend around £260 million boosting
assistants Cyndy Stith and Julia Denney with Jim Lawes, from Herefordshire
Access for All..
Rugby Legend to Kick Off Great Outdoors Event
is lending its green space and wide open countryside to
some of the very best outdoor activity and experience providers
in the country to create 'The University of the Great Outdoors.'
Welsh rugby international turned TV presenter Leuan Evans
will kick start the May Bank Holiday event which takes place
in the shadow of the Malvern Hills in the grounds of Eastnor
Park at Ledbury.
event, which will be held on Sunday, 4th and Monday, 5th
May, is at the heart of the brand new 'The University of
the Great Outdoors' campaign, which is aimed not only at
highlighting the county's claim as one of the best destinations
in Britain for an activity holiday, but also at enticing
visitors to the county to try something entirely different,
or to extend their abilities.
Set within the Malvern Hills and surrounded by a deer park,
arboretum and lake, Eastnor Castle will provide the perfect
backdrop for this multi activity event, which will allow
individuals, groups and families to try anything from grass
sledging to orienteering, and from zip lining to archery,
in a safe, secure and controlled environment.
University of the Great Outdoors is the only regional two
day event focusing exclusively on outdoor activities, where
visitors can pay a one off entrance fee, which will then
enable them to circulate within the grounds, and enjoy taster
sessions in a choice of 25 different activities.
you've never tried mountain boarding down a steep slope,
or grass sledging over bumpy terrain, then Herefordshire
can break you into the habit,' said VisitHerefordshire's
Cultural Services Manager, Jane Lewis. 'You'll even be able
to camp out under the stars and learn the true art of bush
craft. If you're not feeling so energetic, there will be
some more leisurely activities available, including from
wine tasting, green woodcraft, photography and wildlife
and leisure equipment suppliers will also be on hand throughout
the event to provide expert advice, and essential kit, to
anyone interested in taking the taster sessions on to the
central arena will have a full programme of spectator events
to keep the whole family amused, from a birds of prey display,
to an adrenaline pumping parachute jump.
accessed by road and train, and with a vast range of quality-assessed
accommodation available locally, The University of the Great
Outdoors event is featured on www.visitherefordshire.com.
further information, please contact: Jane Lewis, Cultural
Services Manager, Visit Herefordshire on 01432 383068 or
via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
details can be also be obtained by telephoning 01432 260621.
starts on innovative part-time 20mph zone
is to have its first part-time 20mph speed limit as part
of a pilot scheme endorsed by the Department of Transport.
The part-time signals will be put in place at Sutton St
Nicholas's new primary school, which is due to open later
Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet
member for highways and transportation, said, 'These part-time
signals will only operate at school opening and closing
times. Flashing lights will warn motorists they need to
slow down but, outside of school times, the limit rises
to 30mph and this will help to ensure traffic can keep flowing.
We also want to encourage as many pupils as possible to
walk and cycle to school and this 20mph limit will allow
them to do this more safely'.
part-time signals were chosen following consultation with
the public, including an exhibition held last year. Work
began on Monday, February 18 to introduce both a new 30mph
limit on the C1125 at Sutton St Nicholas and, within this,
a part-time 20mph limit near to the school. The 20mph limit
will only operate during term times at school opening and
scheme has been designed by Owen Williams on behalf of Herefordshire
Council. It aims to reduce vehicle speeds and increase road
safety for all road users especially children and encourage
more pupils to walk and cycle to school.
includes a new pelican crossing near the school entrance,
road signs including vehicle activated variable speed signs,
improvements to footways, new road surfacing and road markings.
council's contractor Amey Wye Valley is responsible for
the work on site and completion is expected early in April.
Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to road
& A Property's Legal Application Dismisses
& A Property Limited's application to the Court of Appeal
in London on Monday, 25th February to try to prevent enforcement
action by Herefordshire Council has been dismissed. The
decision now clears the way for the council to take enforcement
proceedings against the company.
action followed Herefordshire Council's legal victory at
the High Court of Justice in Birmingham against a similar
injunction in a case decided by His Honour Judge Brown QC
earlier this month.
Justice Carnwath, Toulson and Waller were asked to grant
an injunction preventing enforcement action being taken
by the council until the Court of Appeal have ruled if His
Honour Judge Brown was correct to refuse the originally
Lord Justice Carnwath said, 'The case is weak in the extreme.'
Justice Waller said, 'The longer this matter went on, the
more misconceived it seemed to be.' and Lord Justice Toulson
added that 'The case was quite hopeless.'
of £8,850 were awarded to Herefordshire Council and must
be paid within 14 days.
company failed on Thursday, 7th February in a bid to get
an injunction to stop council enforcement action against
buildings at Brierley Court Farm, near Leominster, from
going ahead. The enforcement required S & A Property Limited
to remove a sewage treatment works and amenity buildings,
erected without planning permission, by January 10th, 2008,
but this had not been done. S & A sought an interim injunction
to preserve the status quo at the site pending its application
to the European Court of Human Rights but this was refused.
Honour Judge Brown turned down the earlier application for
an injunction in Birmingham and costs of £6,852.40 were
awarded to Herefordshire Council. S & A Property Limited
then sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal but His
Honour Judge Brown turned down this request.
company said at the time it would still be looking to appeal
this decision and the urgent hearing was listed for the
Court of Appeal in London on Monday, 25th February 2008.
Best in Class for Public Leisure Facilities
Leisure Centre has been rated fifth in the country for public
leisure services and has joined Ross Swimming Pool in being
rated as within the top one per cent of public leisure facilities
accolade comes from Quest, the UK quality scheme for sport
and leisure, who are completing the latest round of external
inspections on Halo operated leisure facilities in Hereford,
Ledbury, Ross, Bromyard and Leominster.
of the county's public leisure facilities managed by Halo
have now been inspected and the overall scores put Halo
within the top 10 per cent in the UK, with Hereford Leisure
Centre ranked as equal fifth.
Halo, a social enterprise and registered charity, manages
leisure centres on behalf of their major partner Herefordshire
Council. It is one of only two companies to have achieved
accreditation for all centres and at a 'highly commended'
level, the other being Sheffield International Venues.
Haines, manager of Hereford Leisure Centre said, 'We have
made consistent progress year on year, both in terms of
service and support systems. However, the most rewarding
part, as manager, is having the commitment of the staff.
Without their support, we would not have achieved this level.'
Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member
for economic development and community services said, 'When
we set up the trust for Halo leisure, we wanted it to achieve
the highest possible standards and this external inspection
shows they certainly have.
in Herefordshire are fortunate to have such splendid leisure
facilities across the county and I would encourage everyone
to make full use of them so Halo can continue to build on
Argent, chief executive of Halo Leisure said, 'I am delighted
that Alex and his team have seen their hard work rewarded.
This is an example of partnership working at its very best
and shows how councils can work with organizations like
Halo and in return gain top class leisure facilities for
the public. Our aim is to be recognized as a model of best
practice in the leisure industry, so we are delighted with
the results of these independent inspections.'
further details on using Halo leisure facilities, log onto
the website at http://www.haloleisure.co.uk/
to Improve Social Care with New, Integrated System
Council is to get its urgently needed social care computer
package to replace outdated computer systems and improve
its service to the most vulnerable members of the community.
On Thursday, 21st February, the council's cabinet approved
an investment of £2.47 million over four years after it
had been scrutinized by the council's strategic monitoring
committee last month
upheld the recommendation to replace the eleven-year old
system that is struggling to meet unprecedented demands
as the number of older people needing help in the county
new Corelogic software system is used by 24 other local
authorities in the country and will enable social care workers
to accurately, quickly and simply share vast amounts of
electronic information to make better informed judgements
about individual care needs, whilst monitoring performance
against set standards in order to improve service. .
The cabinet heard that data security measures were included
in the package and the council's ICT division has recently
achieved accreditation to ISO 27001, which is the international
information security standard. To answer previous concerns,
cabinet were assured that the new system will be able to
be used by employees in the council's antiquated Bath Street
premises in Hereford, and there was sufficient capacity
in the information links to the council's data centre at
Plough Lane, Hereford.
assessment panel of 32 staff from the council's adult and
children social care services, finance and the primary care
trust scored demonstrations from several potential providers
before Corelogic was chosen as the preferred option. Visits
to other local authorities took place to see the system
in action. Neighbouring Worcestershire County Council was
particularly positive in its experience of Corelogic. It
had used the same system as Herefordshire, which dates from
the time the two authorities were one council until the
creation of Herefordshire County Council in 1998.
new Corelogic system is expected to be in place by the summer
for 151 Bullingham Lane Homes Deferred
for 151 homes on land off Bullingham Lane, Hereford, were
deferred by members of the Central Area Planning Subcommittee
at their meeting on Wednesday, 20th February.
on the subcommittee wanted more information regarding the
sustainability of the development and the management of
the affordable housing before making a final decision on
site comprises the last phase (Phase 3) of residential development
on the former SAS camp known as Bradbury Lines. Outline
planning permission was granted on February 10th, 2005,
for the mixed use development of the site comprising housing,
public open space, community and retail facilities.
Homes planned were one, two, three, four and five bedroomed
homes and one and two bedroom apartments.
six per cent of the total homes would be affordable with
18 per cent being low cost discount market housing, nine
per cent rented and nine per cent shared ownership.
Hereford City Council objected to the over development of
the site feeling it would have an adverse effect on the
already over used A49.
Bullingham Parish Council was concerned at the lack of infrastructure
and disagreed with the intensity of houses. They were also
concerned about drainage issues and parking.
report to the subcommittee said the density of the site
was acceptable under the Unitary Development Plan.
homes on this final phase are to be designed to a minimum
standard of Eco Homes Good and this will increase the energy
efficiency of the houses.
report added, '… the additional sustainable transport contributions
will assist in reducing the overall carbon footprint of
the development from the start of the construction process
through to future occupation of the houses.'
Visit on Plans for Light Industrial Units
of Herefordshire Council's Central Area Planning Subcommittee
have decided to hold a site visit over plans for erecting
two buildings for light industrial use at Marshall Business
Centre, Westfields Trading Estate, Hereford.
site visit was decided upon at their meeting on Wednesday,
Council's environmental health and trading standards manager
had no objection but felt conditions were needed to prevent
noise as complaints had been received from two residents
groups active in the area.
Hereford City Council had no objection.
of objection were received from 23 properties in Grandstand
Road and six properties in Armadale Close. Concerns were
expressed that the site was not large enough for the development,
that the buildings are too large and near to residential
properties and will give rise to additional noise and traffic.
The application site lies within an established industrial
area allocated for a mix of employment purposes with the
Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan.
for Hoarwithy Glasshouse Approved
for a glasshouse at Whitethorn Farm, Carey, Hoarwithy, were
approved by members of Herefordshire Council's Central Area
Planning Subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday, 20th
glasshouse will be used for the organic production of plants,
fruit and vegetables.
Council's conservation manager had expressed concerns about
the scale of the glasshouse but felt a landscaping scheme
produced addressed the visual impact of the scheme.
Little Dewchurch Parish Council recommended refusal due
to the adverse impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural
letters of objection were received expressing concerns at
increased noise and light pollution, increased traffic,
excessive scale of the development and the fact there were
more suitable sites in the holding for a development of
this type and size.
As part of the conditions attached to the planning permission,
two existing permissions for the erection of glasshouses
elsewhere within the holding are to be rescinded.
to Extend Marden Quarry Operations Approved
to extend quarrying operations at Wellington Quarry, Marden
Lane, Wellington, have been approved by members of the Central
Area Planning Subcommittee at their meeting on Wednesday,
proposal is to extend the quarry in both area and working
time and will involve the extraction of a further 1.46 million
tonnes of sand and gravel at about 150,000 to 200,000 tonnes
would extend activity at the quarry for about 10 years,
during which time the land would gradually be restored to
create a mixture of grass meadows, wetland habitats and
The Environment Agency had no objection but wanted conditions
West Midlands supported the application, saying the site
lies within the Rural Regeneration Zone and this scheme
would underpin economic growth in the region.
Council for the Protection of Rural England sought conditions
to protect residential amenities and environmental quality.
were received from the Woodland Trust, concerned about the
damage to Long Coppice and that it would disturb fauna in
Council's county archaeologist said the site was of high
importance but was satisfied any interesting finds would
continue to be safeguarded if the quarry was extended.
Marden Parish Council and Wellington Parish Council had
no objection in principle but wanted to see Marden Lane
Parish Council had no objection in principle but wanted
landscaping measures carried out around the site.
were received from three local residents. They were concerned
at the potential for noise, dust and light disturbance,
increased traffic and felt there was a need for appropriate
Congratulates Council on Children's Centre Progress
Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People
and Families, has congratulated Herefordshire Council for
being one of the first ten authorities in England to complete
phase two of the Children's Centre Programme.
centres provide services and information for families with
children under five years of age. They offer child and family
health services, early years education and access to childcare,
ante natal and postnatal services, family support such as
home visiting, group activities and support for children
and parents with special needs.
children's centre tailors its services to local need. All
centres have good quality early years learning through play
activities and links with Jobcentre Plus to help parents
and carers who wish to retrain or return to work. If there's
enough demand, a crèche facility may be available
to support meetings and training. Each centre also provides
a base for childminders.
The first phase of the children's centre programme in Herefordshire
took place between 2004 and 2006 with the opening of the
Green Croft and Springfield Centres in Hereford and the
Conningsby Centre in Leominster.
two has involved children's centre services being provided
in Kington, Ledbury, the Hope Family Centre in Bromyard,
the Ryefield Centre in Ross on Wye, the Golden Valley and
North Hereford City.
Hughes, MP praised Herefordshire Council for its success
in a letter to the council's director of children's services.
She said, 'This is a significant achievement and an important
milestone and I'd like to offer my congratulations to everyone
involved. Children's centres will play a major role in making
a reality of our vision for excellent integrated services
built around the needs of children and their families.
Jenny Hyde, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for children
and young people said, 'I have watched many of our children's
centres develop and spent time with some of the children
and families who are benefiting from the services they provide.
early years and extended services team have done incredibly
well to complete phase two so well and so quickly. Working
successfully in partnership with the private and voluntary
sector, they have managed to deliver what has been a very
Herefordshire Council is one of the first ten councils in
the country to meet our phase two targets which is great
news for the county's families and children.'
Council Launches Childrens' Health Passport
Council is one of the first authorities in the country to
launch a new health passport for looked after children.
The passport will be used to keep together important medical
and historical information which the child can take with
them and pass on to their carer.
significant input from children and young people, and sponsorship
from the Children's Bureau, each looked after child in Herefordshire
will receive their own personalized health passport designed
to follow their development through care and beyond. It
is a way of ensuring that children in care have information
about their childhood illnesses such as chickenpox, history
of inoculations, hearing and eye tests, allergies and other
and updating the medical and personal information will be
the responsibility of the carer, but the passport will move
around with the child providing essential information for
the child's future carers too.
A breakfast launch of the new health passport drew over
60 people to Hinton Community Community Centre last week.
Festive balloons, hot blueberry pancakes, banana muffins
and organic muesli with fresh fruit were among the attractions
and the room buzzed with appreciative comments from social
workers, foster carers and others who work with children
and young people in Herefordshire. The food and festivities
were prepared by some of the young people who have been
attending the popular accredited course, Care2Cook.
Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People
said, 'I thoroughly enjoyed attending the launch of this
very important scheme. It's a real pleasure to be part of
so much positive work and to learn about all the other exciting
activities our children have been involved in. I'm so proud
of them all.'
passport has been warmly welcomed by young people and professionals
expect the passport to become a key working document for
carers, and a valuable source of personal information for
our young people in later life,' said Rebecca Plato, fostering
manager who has developed the passport with the county's
nurse for looked after children, Anna Cassin.
of our children have lived in a number of different places
which can make it difficult for them to keep track of when
and where they were during certain times in their lives,'
she continued. 'The transfer of information has traditionally
been form based, but the new health passport will be a great
way of keeping everything together in an easy to use format.'
Herefordshire Council is one of the first in the country
to embark on this scheme which has already attracted a lot
of attention nationally.
Council Looks to USA for Social Workers
severe national shortage in social workers has prompted
Herefordshire Council to launch a transatlantic drive to
recruit qualified personnel.
most local authorities, the council has struggled to recruit
sufficient qualified and experienced social workers in recent
years, despite extensive local and national advertising
with specialist social care recruitment agency Pulse Recruitment,
the council has 16 confirmed candidates to interview over
five days in Atlanta, Georgia later this month with possibly
more candidates to add to the list.
The council's contract with Pulse Recruitment means that
the council will pay a £4,000 fee for each successfully
recruited social worker. This is refundable if the worker
does not arrive in the UK or leaves within the first six
months of contract. The fee includes all travel and accommodation
costs for interviewers to travel to the USA, as well as
documentation, checking, visas and work permits.
McLurg, head of safeguarding and assessment, said, 'Many
other local authorities have resorted to recruiting social
workers from Australia, Canada and the USA. For Herefordshire,
this will be a more cost effective solution than using agency
staff, as each one costs an extra £20,000 per year when
compared with a full time social worker employed by the
council, and it also compares favourably with the costs
of a national recruitment campaign.
we will continue to strive to recruit staff locally and
nationally we have a statutory obligation to safeguard vulnerable
children in Herefordshire, and so must consider every available
option to ensure we have sufficient qualified staff to meet
Taste of Japanese Culture Coming to Herefordshire
Council is running a two week, hands on celebration of Japanese
culture over the Easter holidays. The council's museums
and libraries across the county will be providing top quality
workshops for all ages as part of the Destination Japan
project, which is funded by the council and Japan 21, a
UK charity that supports and encourages Japanese educational
Adrian Blackshaw, cabinet member for economic development
and cultural services said, 'We have an exciting range of
activities on offer with something for everyone, including
Manga comic drawing, kite making and Japanese sewing.
highlight of the celebration will be an open day at the
council's new Museum Resource and Learning Centre on Thursday,
With its contemporary architecture and comfortable family
spaces, the new centre is definitely worth a visit", added
Councillor Blackshaw. "We have some fantastic libraries
and museums in Herefordshire, and Destination Japan is a
great opportunity to see how much they provide for their
to the open day can enjoy Taiko drumming with accomplished
Japanese drummer, Kino, as well as Zen gardening, and martial
arts displays by Central Dojo.
the mobile libraries will be taking part, with Haiku poet
Alan Summers creating poetry with the public. In addition
to the hands-on workshops, there will also be striking displays
of Japanese prints and artworks in Hereford Museum and the
Museum Resource and Learning Centre.
a full list of what's on, contact the council's Cultural
Services Team on 01432 260646 or visit the council's web
site at www.herefordshire.gov.uk.
Workshop Coming to Belmont Community Centre
you would like to be more creative and improve your drawing
skills, you may like to attend a taster workshop on drawing
skills at Belmont Community Centre.
workshop is being organized by Herefordshire Council's Learning
Champions and will be run by artist Filbert Splosh on Thursday,
6th March between 10am and 3pm. All materials will be provided
but there is a small fee of £5 which must be paid at the
time of booking.
Karan McKelvie, Herefordshire learning champion said, 'Drawing
can be a fun pastime but many people just don't know where
to start. Filbert is an experienced artist and I'm sure
everyone attending will end up sharing his enthusiasm for
further details and to make a booking for the course, telephone
Karan McKelvie on 07792 881071 or email email@example.com
in Herefordshire Awarded Charter Mark
County Council's Info in Herefordshire and Info by Phone
have given Herefordshire residents excellent customer service
over the past year and as a result, they have been awarded
a charter mark for the fifth year running.
Mark is the UK national standard of customer service excellence
for public sector organizations. To meet charter mark standards,
the council had to submit a series of documents and receive
an assessment visit in January.
mark assessor, Pat Board, was very complimentary about all
the Info in Hereford services during her visit to the Hereford
Centre, Garrick House and Info by Phone at Plough Lane.
After interviewing members of the public and council staff
to check that the required standards were being met, she
praised the team for working in partnership with others
to provide co-ordinated services, using resources well and
being positively involved in the community.
particular, she singled out the Bromyard Centre's role in
providing a rest centre during the summer floods and the
way Info by Phone handled calls about the floods and subsequent
June French, cabinet member for corporate, customer services
and human resources said, 'I am delighted to learn that
the team have met the standard once again and offer them
my heartiest congratulations.
is very important that residents are able to access local
services and be able to talk to someone from the Info customer
services team who is helpful and knowledgeable. All the
employees working in our Info Shops and Info by Phone have
received extensive training and are able to provide a wide
range of information on all the council's services.
council has invested in a new Info centre for Hereford and
refurbished others to bring them up to standard and make
sure they are able to deal with the growing range of information
council has Info Shops in Hereford, Bromyard, Kington, Leominster,
Ledbury and Ross on Wye. In addition, information can be
obtained by ringing Info by Phone on 01432 260500.
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