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The place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 213 - Wednesday, 27th August 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Major Breakthrough for Flood Alleviation Scheme - What Happened to Peach - Post Office Closure]
Page 2 [GCSE Performers - Bayliss Reunion - Vintage Road Run for Macmillan - Wyenot Supporters - Sk8 Park Opening]
Page 3 [Hair Today - Thousands speak out about phone box closures - A great night at the White Lion]

Page 4

[Poly Tunnels Approved - River Wye Levels - Conservatives and Lib Dems on Post Offices - New Roles for Disadvantaged People - Learn to research your family - Successful Regatta - Raising Olympic Flag - Weather]
Page 5 [Police issue warning over stolen artillery part and the rest of the news from around the region]

Police Issue Warning Over Stolen Artillery Part

Police have issued a warning to scrap dealers to be on the alert for a piece of old artillery equipment, stolen along with redundant pieces of scrap heavy gun barrels from an industrial estate in the Golden Valley area of Herefordshire, which if melted down could cause serious injury or death.

Approximately 1.5 tonnes of the redundant artillery parts, which the owner was using to repair and refurbish other weapons, was taken from the premises over the weekend of Saturday 16th to Sunday 17th August 2008. None of the parts could be used to make a weapon. However, one of the pieces stolen was a recuperator, described as being something like a shock absorber for artillery gun barrels. Its purpose is to absorb the recoil of the shell as it's fired. The item is a 4' long tube, 9" in diameter and sealed at both ends, with a 2" diameter rod, 12" long, sticking out of one end. It is very heavy (3-4 cwt) and painted in military green.

The recuperator contains a large high-pressure spring. An artillery expert warns that if this recuperator is melted down, or if someone inexperienced tries to dismantle it, the spring will come out of the tube with the force of an artillery shell and could seriously injure or kill someone.

Police advise that if they come across the recuperator, they should contact the police at the earliest opportunity. Anyone within the West Mercia Police area finding the item should ring 08457 444888 and quote Incident Ref: 475-S-190808.

No More Dogs Please

The rear yard at Hereford Police Station.

In April 2008, a change in the law relieved police of the responsibility to seize stray dogs, and to accept them if brought to a police station, and placed the burden squarely on the shoulders of the local authority. Since then, however, some people have still been bringing the occasional stray to the police station at Hereford. Front counter staff, keen to provide a professional service, were reluctant to turn people away and would accept the animal, placing it in a kennel in the rear yard before contacting the Council dog warden to take it away.

Lynne Ponti, Customer Services Manager at Hereford Police Station, said, 'The ongoing building works at Hereford Police Station has now turned the back yard into something resembling "no man's land". Access to the kennel is via this back yard. Coupled with the noise of the building works, the kennel is really no longer fit for purpose. We would therefore ask people finding strays not to bring them to the police station any more but to take them home and contact the local authority dog wardens who will happily call and collect the animals.'

During office hours (9-5), the dog wardens can be contacted on 01432-261761 and they will endeavour to collect an animal as soon as possible. Out of hours and for Bank Holidays and weekends, contact 01432 260000. The out of hours service provides for collection by the dog warden between 5.30pm and 10pm or during the next working day.

Giant mouse on the loose?

Hereford Police are appealing for witnesses after several pallets of cheese were stolen from the rear of an articulated vehicle, parked up overnight beside the A49 at the top of the Callow, Hereford.

The theft occurred between 11.10pm on Thursday 21st and 7am on Friday 22nd August 2008 when the driver parked his artic in the layby between the A466 Wormelow turning and the Callow/Kingsthorne junction at the top of the Callow and went to sleep in his cab. When he awoke the next morning, he checked the load to find the rear doors of the trailer unit forced and several pallets removed. Each pallet contained about 3000 worth of cheese and weighed about a ton. The total haul is estimated to be worth about 15,000.

Police would like to hear from anyone who passed the layby during the night. It is believed two other artics were parked up there overnight; one also had the trailer door opened but nothing was stolen. It would have taken some time to unload the pallets, which were spread over the verge. The thieves would have had to have used a large vehicle to remove all the cheese.

Police are hopeful that a passing motorist may have seen the theft. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have information on the theft should contact PC Ed Williams at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Ladder Exchange Can Save Lives

Herefordshire Council is taking part in Ladder Exchange, a national campaign who's aim is to prevent dodgy ladders from shattering lives.

Falling from height continues to be the main cause of death and serious injury in the workplace, a third of these being the result of falling from a ladder. During 2006/07, seven workers died and more than 1,000 were injured as a result of a fall from a ladder.

Two Hereford firms, HSS in Holmer Road and Speedy Hire in Holme Lacy Road, are taking part in the Ladder Exchange, which means that anybody who has a ladder which is bent, broken or battered can bring it along to one of these outlets and exchange it for a new one with a discount of up to fifty per cent.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing, said, 'The figures regarding injury and death show people really do need to ensure their ladders are fit for purpose. I would urge everyone to check any ladders they have and, if in doubt, contact the two stores for advice about whether they need replacing. Ladder Exchange runs throughout September and offers a huge discount so don't miss out.'

During Ladder Exchange 2007, more than 4,000 ladders were evicted from workplaces but the scheme is not restricted to businesses only. It is open to anyone who uses a ladder.

For further information on Ladder Exchange log onto the website or contact the council's environmental health team (duty officer) on 01432 261667.

New Tenants Sought for Hereford's Butter Market

Herefordshire Council is seeking new tenants for 15 stalls in High Town's popular Butter Market. The stalls have been made available after Peacocks made the decision not to renew their lease which expires on Tuesday, 30th September.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for economic development and community services, said, 'I am pleased the company is still retaining its Bon Marche store in High Town, which shows that Peacocks remains confident about the city as a shopping centre.

The Butter Market is very much the jewel in High Town's crown and we need to ensure it continues to play a key role in attracting visitors and shoppers. We will be holding a dialogue with traders at the Butter Market who will have a key role to play in its future. We will also be carrying out public consultation and detailed market research.

If you are interested in leasing a stall at the Butter Market, please contact Rick Bodenham on 01432 261517 for further information.

Lib Dems Call for UK Energy Independence

Herefordshire Liberal Democrats have given their strong backing to ambitious calls by Nick Clegg MP for Britain to become self sufficient in energy.

The Liberal Democrat Leader has called for a major programme to build up Britain's own energy supplies through wind, tidal, wave and bio mass technologies. Mr Clegg said, 'We have an enormous opportunity to create real energy independence for the UK, freeing ourselves from the shackles of foreign oil, coal and gas. This will require the kind of ambition and political will that succeeded in putting man on the moon.'

Sarah Carr, Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner said, 'I am delighted that Nick Clegg is calling for a green revolution in the way we produce power. The recent Russian invasion of Georgia and the ongoing troubles in Iraq and Iran show just how dangerously reliant Britain is on energy from unstable parts of the world.

We have to build up our own energy supplies and as an island nation, we have an abundance of natural and clean energy sources that both Labour and Conservative governments have failed to develop. Whilst Labour and the Conservatives joined together earlier this year to agree Britain should have a new generation of nuclear power stations, Liberal Democrats believe this will leave a legacy of radioactive waste for future generations. It will also leave us dependent on foreign supplies of uranium.

Liberal Democrats in Herefordshire welcome Nick Clegg's call for Britain to develop clean energy supplies and become self sufficient in them by 2050. This is an industry in which we as a nation should aim to be world beaters.'

Did You See Teenagers Rolling Out the (Stolen) Barrels?

Police are appealing for witnesses who may be able to identify members of a group of teenagers seen drinking the proceeds of a burglary at Hereford Rugby Club in the early hours of Tuesday 19th August 2008.

Between midnight and 4.50am on that Tuesday morning a group of youths entered the riverside Rugby Club, situated by the Great Western Way, and forced their way into the bar area. Inside, they consumed beer and cider, smashed bottles and glasses and left, taking with them 10 bottles of spirits, numerous bottles of beer and WKD vodka and 2 full aluminium beer kegs, the majority of which police have now recovered.

The youths were spotted by at least one resident, rolling the barrels south along the Great Western Way (known locally as The Lines) at about 5am but sadly the police were not notified at the time. The barrels were left by The Lines at the rear of gardens of Charles Witts Avenue. The group were seen again around 7am, drinking at that location and three of them were seen drinking in the street, with red paint on their hands and clothing. The red paint is thought to be the same as that used to daub graffiti at the Rugby Club.

Police believe the group was mostly male, though two females were seen. Several people going to work at 7am were seen to walk past the youths and may well know their identities. Police would urge those witnesses to come forward as soon as possible.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact PC Jane Price at Hereford Police Station on 08457 444888 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Herefordshire Hardest Hit with Post Office Closures

Herefordshire could be facing the loss of 20 post offices when closure proposals from Post Office Limited are announced today, 27th August. The county is bracing itself to be hit harder than any other part of the West Midlands in the national programme to axe 2,500 post offices. Herefordshire Council says there is deep cynicism about the six week consultation on the closure proposals. Local MPs have been given briefings on which post offices are on the hit list but news is now leaking out into local communities.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the council, says that communities, councillors and MPs will have to work hard together to try to protect the services that are vital to many remote and rural communities. 'It is clear that Post Office Limited is intent on closing more post offices in Herefordshire than anywhere else in the region,' he said, 'despite their assurances that there will be consultation, there is deep cynicism about the process.'

Across the county, it is known that post offices earmarked for closure include Brampton Bryan, Edwin Ralph, Lyonshall and Sutton St Nicholas. There are likely to be 20 post offices named for closure and up to ten more recommended as 'outreach' facilities, meaning they will be closed and replaced by a very limited mobile service in car parks, petrol stations, village halls or local pubs. Outreach facilities are known to include Almeley, Bishops Frome, Cradley, Lower Eggleton, Pembridge, Upper Sapley, Whitney on Wye and Wigmore.

In a detailed submission to the Department of Trade and Industry, Herefordshire Council has previously argued that closure plans would see the marginalisation and exclusion of thousands of vulnerable people, such as older people, low-income families or those without a car, who rely on their local post office. 'The viability of hundreds of small rural communities across the county, especially those in remote areas, is at stake,' added Councillor Phillips. 'Herefordshire is predominately rural, with more of its people living in very sparsely populated areas than any other county in England. It also has a higher age profile, and a growing population of frail, older people who depend more than most on post office services. Their quality of life would be seriously damaged if the government gets its way.'

The council together with county councillors and parish councillors is to meet with Postwatch and Post Office Limited in early September to discuss the closure plans. The post office consultation ends on Tuesday, 7th October.

Herefordshire Schools Achieve Best Ever GCSE Results

Herefordshire Council reports that this year's GCSE results across the county's schools are the best ever. The results show significant improvement on last year's previous high point and have improved year on year for the last three years.

This year's results indicate that 69.4 percent of pupils achieved five or more grade A*-C GCSEs, a rise of 7.4 percent on 2007 and 3.7 percent above the national average. Those achieving five or more grade A*-Cs including English and mathematics has risen by nearly two percent to 53.5 percent.

Wyebridge Sports College, which has now become The Hereford Academy, continues its rapid advance and has improved by a staggering 23.4 percent from last year, achieving a 74.4 percent at five or more A*-Cs, becoming the fourth highest performing school in the county by this measure. Whitecross High School and the Minster College also record significant improvements since last year of over 13 percent, rising to 62.9 percent and 55.3 percent respectively.

Overall, boys' performance in Herefordshire has gone up by 7.1 percent against girls' increase in pass rate of six percent, and boys have closed the gender gap by one percent at five or more A*-C grades. At this point these results remain provisional but should be subject to only minor changes.

Sharon Menghini, director for children's services, said: 'Congratulations to all our schools and their pupils for continuing to improve on results which are already above the national average results. I would also like to thank all the teachers, support staff and parents for helping our young people achieve such high standards. I am particularly pleased to see the outstanding results Wyebridge Sports College has managed to achieve which are a credit to the whole school community and supporting organizations, including the council.'


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