WHAM! ORGANIZE HERFORD RIDER SKILLS DAY
Herefordshire's motorcyclists will have the opportunity
to improve their road safety skills this month at a Rider
Skills Day being held on Sunday, 19th April, at the Community
Hall in Sutton-St.-Nicholas. The event has been organized
by Worcester and Hereford Advanced Motorcyclists, (WHAM),
for all licensed motorcyclists from 10am until 4pm and riders
can pre-book a short assessment ride with one of WHAM's
trained observers in order to review their road safety awareness.
As well as the 40 minute ride there will be a one-to-one
briefing with the observer, advising riders on what steps
they can take to further improve their safety margins on
the road. The course is completely free to the rider as
the day has been generously sponsored by the Herefordshire
Road Safety Group, part of the Herefordshire Community Safety
and Drugs Partnership. Participating riders will have the
opportunity to win one of two Institute of Advanced Motorists
'Skill for Life' packages, which normally cost over £100.
One will be drawn at random, with the other being awarded
to the best youngest rider on the day.
Jenkins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership
in West Mercia said, 'The Safer Roads Partnership in West
Mercia is committed to reducing the number of motorcyclists
killed or injured on Herefordshire's roads. The aim of this
rider skills day is to give motorcyclists the opportunity
to assess and enhance their skills and increase their awareness
of the dangers that they face on the county's roads.'
Hodges of WHAM said, 'We are delighted to be able to offer
these assessments to the county's motorcyclists. So feel
free to come along and join in. You have nothing to lose
and possibly a lifetime to gain!'
COUNCIL WILL FIGHT BLOCKING OF CROSS BORDER HEALTH SERVICES
Leader of Herefordshire Council, Roger Phillips gave a stark
warning to the Welsh Assembly on Thursday, 2nd April, that
there would be resistance on both sides of the border if
devolution policies inhibit people in Wales from receiving
treatment at Hereford's new well equipped hospital.
a regular forum of public sector agencies for Central Wales
and West Midlands, which looks at a range of cross border
issues like health, social care, transport, tourism and
environment, Councillor Phillips explained that 13 per cent
of the patients treated at Hereford County Hospital travel
from the Welsh side of the border. 'Any policy move to block
cross border health care could have a detrimental impact
on the functional and financial viability of Hereford's
acute hospital trust,' said Councillor Phillips to the chair
Alun Ffred Jones AM, Minister for Heritage in the Welsh
Assembly Government. 'Residents in Herefordshire, Breconshire
and Radnorshire would resist strongly any move to upset
the delicate balance for health care in the area.'
2007, a landmark Memorandum of Understanding was signed
between the Welsh Assembly and West Midlands' Regional Assembly
with a commitment to share information on policy and service
development in border communities. Building on this, neighbouring
groups have been working together to achieve a clear picture
of the needs and challenges in the Wales and West Midlands
border. On 2nd April, over 150 delegates gathered at a special
forum in Newtown, Powys to discuss their findings and plan
the way forward.
means that two different governments are now responsible
for designing policies that better match the needs of people
in England and in Wales. The forum is working to make sure
that any inconsistencies do not result in major impacts
on the everyday lives of thousands of people living in remote
communities on the border. Health and social care in particular
is being scrutinized to ensure that people on both sides
of the border receive an efficient and appropriate level
of service. For example, in the health and social care field,
some patients in a single village may have a GP based in
England and some in Wales, and this may influence which
other services they receive. The ways in which services
provided in England and Wales are managed and monitored
may differ, though generally local agreements are already
in place to ensure patients receive appropriate treatment,
whether they receive care in Wales or England.
many people living in the Welsh hinterlands near the English
border, the nearest hospitals are either in Hereford or
Shrewsbury. The issue is growing even more relevant for
people in Powys as plans progress for a new radiotherapy
cancer care treatment centre in Hereford.
AUTHOR EVENTS AT HEREFORDSHIRE LIBRARIES
A series of Author Events are to take place in the county's
libraries during April and May. These are always popular
events, so it will be well worth booking your space now.
writing workshop will be taking place from 10:30am to 4pm
in The Woolhope Room at Hereford on Saturday, with Manda
Scott. Manda is the author of the best selling Boudica series
and The Crystal Skull. Her first novel Hen's Teeth was short
listed for the Orange Prize. This is a great opportunity
for prospective and developing writers, particularly anyone
interested in historical fiction. Tea and coffee will be
provided. Bring your own lunch. Tickets are £5 and available
from Hereford Library. Telephone 01432 383600 for further
information. Please note: Hereford Library is a historic
building and access to the Woolhope Room is via stairs only.
If you have any queries please contact the library before
talk by Duncan James on the timber-framed buildings of Herefordshire
has been organized for Thursday, 9th April from 7:30pm until
9pm. Following a sell out evening in Leominster Library
last year, this popular local author and historian returns
to Herefordshire Libraries with a talk at The Burgage Hall
in Ledbury. With so many beautiful timber-framed buildings
in this part of the county the evening is sure to be of
interest to locals and visitors alike. Tickets
£3 available in advance from Ledbury Library. Tel. 01532
Medieval Murderers present: an evening of Medieval Mayhem,
Murder and Magic! on Friday, 8th May at Ross Library. The
event will run from 7pm - 8.30pm (or thereabouts, depending
on number of questions asked and books to be signed!) The
Medieval Murderers are a group of historical mystery authors
who are all best-sellers in their own right, as well as
collectively writing the Medieval Murderers series of books.
a wealth of anecdotes and jokes about writers, writing,
publishers and Merrie, Murderous England, the Medieval Murderers
are now one of the top speaking groups of writers in the
country, whose aim is to leave the audience laughing; sometimes
not at the Murderers themselves. Your 'Murderers' for this
evening will be best-selling authors Michael Jecks, Karen
Maitland and Philip Gooden. The evening's entertainment
will include an opportunity to buy novels and get them signed
on the night. Tickets cost £3 and are available in advance
from Ross Library. Telephone 01432 383280 for further information.
note: due to family illness Susanna Gregory is unable to
attend this event. She sends her apologies. The other Murderers
have promised 'an extra sparkling performance' to make up
for her absence.
POLICE WARN OF RINGING THE CHANGES TRICK
Police are warning shopkeepers in Hereford city to be alert
for an oriental male who may be going round the town trying
the 'ringing the changes' trick. The fraud involves asking
till staff to change a certain amount of paper money for
either larger or smaller denominations. During this process,
the fraudster changes their mind several times so that various
denominations are passing to and from so quickly the cashier
can become confused, which is the whole idea, so that the
offender walks out with more than they came in with.
an incident occurred at a shop in Widemarsh Street on Sunday,
29th March. Between 3.30pm and 4pm, a man walked into the
shop and asked for change of £200. Various notes passed
forward and backward resulting in the thief walking out
£100 in £10 notes the richer. The man is described as an
oriental male in his mid 20's to 30's, 5'8" to 5'10" tall,
of large build, with short, black hair that was spiky on
the top. He had a stubbled face and was wearing black trousers
and a black long-sleeved zip-up jacket with a Chinese pattern
or dragon on the front. He was last seen heading towards
warn shop staff to be on their guard for this man or for
anyone who may come in and ask for change in notes. Anyone
who may recognize the suspect for this offence from his
description should contact PC Neil Layton at Hereford Police
Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously
on 0800 555111.
JESSE SLAMS BUSINESS RATE RISES
Local campaigner Jesse Norman has accused the Government
of undermining local firms and small shops by hiking their
business rates during the recession. Firms across Herefordshire
are seeing substantial rises in their business rate bills
this year, with the prospect of even bigger hikes in 2010.
rent and staff, business rates are normally the third largest
cost that they face. This comes as a survey by the Local
Government Association has found that 4 out of 5 councils
are reporting an increase in empty shops in town centres,
something that has been widely noted in Hereford City and
in several market towns.
to Jesse, several factors are driving up business tax bills.
An above inflation 5 per cent rise in business rates takes
effect next month, which will push the average in Herefordshire
to over £6,000 p.a. for the first time. Meanwhile small
shops will be hammered by the coming revaluation, because
of the Government’s decision to use April 2008 as the snapshot
for the revaluation, when relative retail rents were artificially
high compared to industrial and office rents. Finally, the
2007 cut in rate relief on empty properties means that Herefordshire
firms will still have to pay rates on empty properties in
full despite having no income from rent, and little ability
to rent vacant properties out in the recession.
on the situation Jesse said, 'These government policies
are making the recession worse for local firms, not better.
We should be supporting our local shops and businesses,
not undermining them with new tax and rate rises when times
on the high street are so tough.'
'Save Our Small Shops' campaign has received hundreds of
local nominations so far. There is still time to send in
your nomination to him at Jesse Norman, 49 Broomy Hill Hereford
HR4 0LJ, or via email@example.com.
YOUNG HEREFORDSHIRE POET LAUREATE SOUGHT
Herefordshire's library service is searching for a talented
young poet to become the county's first Young Poet Laureate.
The young poet will get the chance to perform at the prestigious
Ledbury Poetry Festival and their winning poem will also
be made into a postcard which will be sent to schools and
libraries in the county to celebrate National Poetry Day
in October, which this year has the theme Heroes and Heroines.
Dossett, Herefordshire Council's reader development librarian
said, 'The county's library service is a member of Poetry
on Loan and, as part of that, seeks to increase access to
contemporary poetry and encourage more people to read it
and also write their own. Our libraries have plenty of books
by good poets which can provide inspiration for our budding
young poets. Birmingham already runs a successful Young
Poet Laureate scheme and further inspiration can be found
need to write four poems, one of which must be on the theme
of Heroes and Heroines, and must live in or attend a school
or college in Herefordshire. Entries must be received by
May 29, 2009 and the short listed poets must be willing
to perform their poems for an audience at The Courtyard
in Hereford on Thursday, 18th June between 5.45pm and 7pm.
enter, just email four poems to amdossett@ Herefordshire.gov.uk
or post them to Young Poet Laureate Competition, Libraries
Unit, Shirehall, Hereford, HR1 2HX, with full contact details.
DO YOU HAVE AN AWARD WINNING BUSINESS?
The Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire
are looking for special businesses from across the two counties
to enter their Chamber Business Awards 2009. The Chamber
Business Awards celebrate the very best of Herefordshire
and Worcestershire's most successful businesses and with
eleven categories, it is your chance to be recognised as
a great business. Just
by entering, you will boost the morale of your employees
and the benefits of winning are numerous.
categories for this year are:
Business of the Year
· International Business of the Year
· Award for Excellence in Leisure and Tourism (Sponsored
by Herefordshire County Council and Worcestershire County
· Growth Business of the Year (aimed at SME's) (Sponsored
by Business Link)
· Award for Excellence in People Development (Sponsored
by Sanctuary Group)
· Community Enterprise of the Year
· Most Promising New Business (operating for 3 years or
· Award for Innovation through Technology (Sponsored by
Central Technology Belt)
· Large Business of the Year (over 250 employees) (Sponsored
by Nexus Creative)
· Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under 25 years of age)
(Sponsored by Rural Regeneration Zone)
· Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by University of Worcester)
year, more than ever, finding ways to stand out and win
business is a challenge. Therefore, the Chamber of Commerce
is urging every business (regardless of membership), large
and small, based in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to
enter and use the most prestigious business awards in the
area to their advantage.
a Chamber Business Award will get you talked about and make
potential customers take notice. Entries close on Friday
24 April and it couldn't be easier to enter. Simply log
onto www.hwchamberawards.com and complete the application
form stating in no more than 2000 words why you deserve
to win. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony
at Malvern Theatres on Friday, 17th July.
more information about the awards please contact the Chamber
Team on 0845 641 1641 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEDICATION SERVICE FOR NEW CREMATORIUM TO BE HELD IN MAY
A dedication service for Herefordshire Council's new crematorium
in Hereford city is to be held on Saturday, 2nd May at 11.30am.
The service is to be conducted by The Most Reverend Doctor
Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff and The Right Reverend
Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford and will officially
mark the opening of the new £3.1 million facility
which has been built behind the old one in Westfaling Street.
began at the new facility in March and the old crematorium,
which was built in 1956 as a committal chapel, has now been
demolished. Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's
cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing,
said, 'We have now resolved the issue of the feature window
and have a facility of which the county can be rightly proud.
The new crematorium will be better for families and friends
attending services because it has a lot more seating and
the new road layout will ensure two funerals never mix.
As well as this, the new facility will be kinder to the
environment because it will emit fewer emissions and has
been built to the highest environmental standards.'
by Thomas Vale Construction, the new crematorium will have
a life span in excess of 50 years, a suitable traffic flow
for the public and funeral corteges, a chapel to accommodate
120 people seated and 100 people standing, cremators, (one
able to take large coffins), mercury filtration, office
facilities and car parking. There will also be a viewing
area for people whose religion requires they witness the
building has been designed to be environmentally friendly
and it is hoped that there will be a dedicated area for
green burials where a coffin made from biodegradable materials,
such as willow or cardboard, can be used in a part of the
extended cemetery grounds, which will be kept wild and natural.
MAN SHOT WITH BB GUN IN HEREFORD
Police in Hereford are appealing for witnesses and issuing
a warning to BB gun owners after a man was hit by a projectile
from a BB gun. The incident happened in Commercial Road,
Hereford at approximately 9.15pm on Thursday, 26th March.
21-year old man was walking along with two friends when
he felt a sharp pain in his left thigh. A red mark has been
left on the skin at the site of the pain. Police believe
the injury has come from the use of a BB (ball-bearing)
gun or similar, fired by someone in the shadows of a building
in Commercial Road or, more likely, from a passing car.
are keen to speak to anyone who was in Commercial Road around
9.15pm last Thursday and may have witnessed the incident
or any suspicious behaviour.
on the use of a BB gun, Chief Inspector Jon Roberts from
Hereford Police said, 'This is a very dangerous practice.
Not only is there the potential for causing serious injury,
particularly if the projectile fired enters the eye, but
anyone waving / using a BB gun in a public place risks being
challenged by firearms officers with live ammunition, with
all the dangers that that scenario would present. BB guns
must be kept off our streets.'
with information on last week's assault should contact PC
Ian Langford at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000
or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
EDUCATION TASK GROUP DISCUSS FUTURE CHALLENGES
Plans for the future of Herefordshire's schools were under
discussion this week as the Education Task Group met to
discuss some of the challenges facing the county's schools.
a head teacher conference in December, the group was set
up, with an independent chair appointed by the council.
Its brief is to explore the many challenges facing schools
over the next few years, particularly reducing pupil numbers
and associated financial shortfalls, and recommend solutions
to the council's cabinet.
task group is currently looking at which principles they
can recommend to the council's cabinet prior to full consultation.
These principles will form the basis of any further proposals
tabled for discussion at a later date. This is complex and
deals with both national trends affecting schools as well
as attempting to build upon good practice in Herefordshire.
The meeting this week was well attended with representatives
from Herefordshire schools the Diocese and officers who
entered into lively debate about a number of principles.
had a very positive meeting with head teacher representatives,'
said Sharon Menghini, director of children's services. 'I
am impressed by the determination of colleagues to recommend
different potential solutions to deal with some of the challenges
Herefordshire faces. There is a real appreciation of the
needs of different communities and the children and young
Philip Price, cabinet member for ICT, education and achievement,
said, 'I feel we are moving forward and with David Brown's
continued chairmanship, should have a set of principles
to take to Cabinet very soon. If approved, these will govern
the future of education in Herefordshire for the next ten
years or more.'
group meets again later this month and aims to agree principles
to take to cabinet for consideration before the end of the
summer term. There will then follow a period of consultation
on these principles.