PHOTO JESSE SALUTES CONTINUED GROWTH OF HEREFORDSHIRE COMPANY
Local campaigner and parliamentary candidate, Jesse Norman
has expressed his warm congratulations on the continued
rapid growth of Herefordshire-based HR Smith Group, a global
specialist in search and rescue equipment. Jesse
was speaking on a recent visit to the company's expanded
production facilities at the Rotherwas Industrial Estate
in Hereford. He was shown round by Richard Smith, the Managing
Director, and also met with Nigel Monroe, the group's Production
Smith Group have doubled their workforce over the past four
years and are still recruiting production and engineering
staff in order to manage expanding world-wide sales of search
and rescue equipment for the aerospace industry. Commenting
on the visit, Jesse said, 'It is a huge achievement to be
able to grow a company and keep recruiting in the face of
global economic recession.
of Herefordshire's economic future lies in technology-based
firms like this one, which are based locally and yet operate
nationally and internationally. We need to look away from
the retail sheds of the West Midlands, and at how we can
build a diverse, sustainable and modern economic base for
the 21st century. Modesty is a great virtue but sometimes
it's also really important to celebrate local successes
Jesse looks at a Crash Position Indicator with Nigel Monroe of HR
Smith Group in one of the company's new workspaces.
RESIDENTS URGED TO BID FOR BIG LOTTERY FUNDING FOR LOCAL PROJECT
Herefordians running projects in the county to enhance local
facilities or help people enjoy their local area are being
encouraged to bid for a slice of £250,000 up for grabs through
The People's Millions TV contest.
of up to £50,000 per project will be awarded through the
People's Millions partnership between the Big Lottery Fund
and ITV. Across the Central region £250,000 cash is on offer
in the contest which gives the public the opportunity to
decide which local projects will receive Lottery funding.
In previous years the county's Taste for Adventure Centre,
H.O.P.E. For Children and Their Families and the Ewyas Harold
Playground project each won a grant through the scheme.
'However, the county missed out last year, so we're encouraging
people running local projects to make sure they get their
details in to stand a chance of winning some cash this year,'
said Project Development Manager Clare Wichbold.
contest is particularly looking for projects that enable
local people to get more involved in their community and
that are original and imaginative,' added Clare. 'Later
this year the short-listed projects will be showcased on
ITV Central local news where they will have to convince
the public why they deserve the cash. It will then be up
to the public to use their vote to decide which groups win
People's Millions is part of the Big Lottery Fund's commitment
to involving the public in deciding how Lottery money is
spent. In the last four years, the competition has made
318 awards totalling £18 million to community projects across
the UK through the contest. Entry packs for The People's
Millions are available by calling the hotline: 08450 10
11 12, or by visiting www.peoplesmillions.org.uk. The deadline
for applications is 15th May.
LORD-LIEUTENANT CALLS FOR NOMINATIONS FOR VOLUNTEER GROUPS
The Countess of Darnley, the Lord-Lieutenant for Herefordshire,
has called for nominations for the 2010 Queen's Award for
Voluntary Service, as new research reveals the majority
of those across the wider West Midlands region (62%) believe
voluntary groups aren't acknowledged enough publicly for
the outstanding work they do.
findings come from the first annual 'Volunteering Index',
a report commissioned for the Award to uncover the nation's
voluntary habits. It shows more than a quarter of those
in the West Midlands (29%) takes time out to volunteer at
least once a month. Youth and the community are the focus
of most in the West Midlands' voluntary activities. While
a third of volunteers in the region (34%) spends time working
with young people and children, 31% gets involved in projects
that will benefit their local area. Further findings show:
· Sixteen per cent of people in the West Midlands give up
time to volunteer at least once a week · Most people in
the region volunteer for the sense of achievement it offers
(51%) · While 27% in the West Midlands volunteer to meet
new people, a quarter do it because it's fun and 11% for
on the findings, Lady Darnley said, 'There are great rewards
to be had from volunteering, whether personal achievement
and the development of new skills or a deeper connection
with your local community, but it's clear many in Herefordshire
believe those whose tireless effort to benefit others is
also recognized publicly. Although this doesn't tend to
be a goal of selfless volunteer groups themselves, celebrating
exceptional work with such a prestigious National Honour
as the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service can prove invaluable
to continued success, support and donations, and help boost
the profile of volunteering in Herefordshire generally.
If you know a group, do get out there and nominate.'
than 600 groups around the UK have now won the Queen's Award
for Voluntary Service over the six years since its creation
by Her Majesty as a National Honour equivalent to the MBE
to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002. They
include three from Herefordshire.
further information on the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
and how to nominate a group, visit www.queensawardvoluntary.gov.uk.
WALKING IS THE NEW ROCK AND ROLL
Herefordshire Walking Festival is offering people the opportunity
to walk in the footsteps of folk legend John Jones during
this year's annual event which runs from Saturday, 13th
until Sunday, 21st June. John, of the legendary folk rock
legends Oysterband, now lives in Herefordshire, and for
his new 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now' tour, will be walking to
each of the venues, taking in some of the county's wonderful
said, 'Walking is definitely the new rock and roll for me
now I that have moved to this part of the country which
has some of the most stunning countryside I have ever seen.
The tour has given me a chance to more fully explore this
countryside and I would urge anyone who loves walking to
get tickets for this year's walking festival.'
is walking from Hay-on-Wye to Titley in Herefordshire on
Friday, 22nd May where Oysterband will be giving a concert
at the village hall. He will then be walking from Titley
to Leominster on Saturday, 23rd May to give a concert at
The Blue Note and will walk on to Hereford the next day
when the band will be in concert at The Barrels.
you would like to follow in John's footsteps, why not get
tickets for the Ancient Trackways to a Black and White Hamlet
walk in Titley on Tuesday, 16th June from 4.30pm until 10.30pm?
This seven mile walk follows a section of the Mortimer Trail
and it ends with a two course meal at the Michelin starred
Stagg Inn. There is also a chance to walk the Titley Loop
on Saturday, 20th June from 10am until 3.30pm. This nine-mile
walk links ancient settlements at Hergest Ridge, Wapley,
Croft Ambrey and beyond. There is also a town walk in Leominster
and a ghost walk being held in Hereford.
Lewis of Herefordshire Council said, 'John is a perfect
example of someone who has started walking and has become
totally hooked. I am sure he will have a wonderful time
getting to his tour venues on foot and I would encourage
county residents to follow in his footsteps and book their
tickets now for the walking festival.' Herefordshire Walking
Festival offers 61 walks throughout the county. It caters
for all ages and abilities and includes special interest
walks such as photography, archaeology and even a chance
to meet llamas.
Mortimer Trail is the featured walk this year and although
the three linear sections are fully booked, each day a section
of the trail is explored and expanded into the surrounding
landscape with all its ancient features and stories. 'Every
Inch of the Way' offers a once in a lifetime chance to discover
Mortimer Country in depth. Just email email@example.com
for your copy of the programme or visit www.walkingfestival.com
from where you can buy your tickets.'
POLICE RECEIVE CASH BOOST FROM ILL GOTTEN GAINS
West Mercia Constabulary is to receive a slice of a £5.5
million cash boost from assets seized from criminals, the
Home Office has announced. The force, which covers Herefordshire,
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire, will receive
an incentive payment for the period 1st October 2008 – 31st
December 2008 of £38,442.60. This will partly be used to
invest in staff at a new HQ Confiscation Unit.
assets confiscated by police forces and other asset recovery
agencies between October and December 2008 totalled £31.8
million, half of which is to be shared between police, prosecutors,
courts and other agencies. A total of £5.5 million will
be given to police forces in England and Wales, compared
with £5.14 million paid out in the same quarter last year.
Since the Proceeds of Crime Act came into effect in 2003,
£530.5 million has been seized. An incentive scheme introduced
in 2006 allows the police and recovery agencies to retain
half of all cash they seize from criminals.
Inspector Paul Knight, of West Mercia Constabulary’s Economic
Crime Unit, said, 'We are pleased to receive this money,
which we will reinvest in staff engaged in asset recovery
work. We have recently introduced a dedicated Confiscation
Unit within our team and criminals convicted of offences,
from which they are shown to have benefited, can expect
to pay back the proceeds of their crimes in addition to
any punishment the court may order. The money realised from
this important work will, of course, be repaid to victims
where appropriate but the communities of West Mercia can
be assured that any additional funds achieved will go towards
tackling crime at all levels.'
the period 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009 West Mercia
Constabulary successfully obtained 91 Confiscation Orders
to the value of £1,287,539 and 29 Cash Forfeiture Orders
to the value of £169,228. This includes orders obtained
for the force by the Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART)
based in Solihull. Detective Inspector Knight added, 'We
are committed to investing in regional collaboration. Criminals
don’t recognize borders and it is important that forces
work together to combat crime where possible.'
COUNCIL CALLS FOR TAX CUTS TO STEM FLOW OF EMPTY SHOPS
Herefordshire Council has added its voice to calls for the
government to slash VAT on the refurbishment of empty shops
from 15 per cent to 5 per cent to encourage local economies.
Several local authorities support the move for temporary
measures to avoid town centres falling into decline, and
the Local Government Association (LGA) is pressing the case
on their behalf.
the UK we are told that around 200 shops a day are closing,'
said Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, cabinet member for economic
development. 'Thankfully, Herefordshire has not been hit
as hard as many other parts of the country and we still
have plenty of good quality shops to offer visitors and
tourists. However, if businesses were encouraged with a
tax incentive to move into and refurbish empty shops, we
could avoid the possibility of our market towns being turned
into ghost towns.
council is taking decisive action to protect local people
and small businesses, and helping through our mortgage relief
scheme to keep people in their own homes, as well as promoting
the building of more affordable homes for the future. However,
more good be done at a national level for the good of market
towns everywhere in the UK.'
published by the Local Government Association, which represents
councils in England, show that four out of five councils
are now seeing empty properties on the increase in their
town centres and this is impacting on the look and viability
of their high streets as well as the confidence of shoppers
and shopkeepers alike.
SARAH WELCOMES LIB DEM LEADER TO HEREFORD
Sarah Carr, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate
for Hereford and South Herefordshire welcomed Nick Clegg
MP, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Liz Lynne,
MEP for the West Midlands, to Hereford on Friday 17th April.
Clegg MP, Hereford MP Paul Keetch, Liz Lynne MEP and Sarah
first visited Hereford's The Royal National College for
the Blind (RNCB), meeting with the Principal and staff members.
The visit focused on the new multi million pound campus
redevelopment 'thePoint4', officially being opened in June.
is set to become a world class centre of excellence for
training in Sport, Recreation and Complementary Therapies,
and is already home to the British Blind Football Squad.
The College was rated as being 'Outstanding' in a recent
a walk through of Hereford city centre, Nick, Sarah, Paul
and Liz met with local business and community leaders and
Liberal Democrat party supporters at a reception at Hereford
Farmers' Club. With standing room only, questions ranged
from the effect of high petrol prices, to the recession
and its impact on local businesses, and the Liberal Democrats'
proposals to reduce income tax for people on lower and middle
on the visit Sarah said, 'I was delighted to welcome Nick
Clegg MP back to Hereford. Everyone was hugely impressed
by the new 'thePoint4' leisure facilities at the Blind College
which offer fantastic new leisure and spa facilities to
members of the public as well as students of the college
in Hereford. It was great to see so many of our community
and business leaders at the reception afterwards - there
was a real buzz in the room. The impact of the recession
was a key theme, as was discussion of Liberal Democrat policies
to help get us out of it. I am determined to continue campaigning
in support of our local businesses and economy and working
hard for our residents al year round.'
PHOTO MATTHEW DESIGNS NEW LIBRARY CARD
Users of Herefordshire libraries will now be able to have
a membership card which has been designed by county residents.
Matthew Smith, from Colwall designed a card featuring the
River Wye and his entry was one of the four chosen as part
of a countywide competition. The other winning designs feature
apples, calligraphy and a county landscape. Matthew
was presented with a new library card bearing his design,
a goodie bag, Jessop vouchers from myherefordshire.com and
a year's free supply of DVDs, CDs, computer games and talking
books from Herefordshire Libraries.
Murray, Herefordshire Council's assistant cultural services
manager said, 'This is the first time we have asked county
residents to come up with designs for our library cards
and we are delighted with the winning four. Anyone who joins
Herefordshire Council's library service can now have one
of the new designs for their membership card and enjoy all
the free benefits such as Internet access and loan of books.'
At Hereford library Christine Cattanach and Kate Murray with Laila
Soobhany, Jemma Gray, Sally Morris and Matthew Smith with his winning
library card design.
winning library card design.
apple library card designed by Karen Friedman of Hereford.
calligraphy library card designed by Shirley Hill of Leominster.
oast houses and footpath sign design by Michael Blackwell from Colwall.
NEW FIGURES HIGHLIGHT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY GAP SAYS JESSE
Housing in Herefordshire is far more expensive in relation
to earnings than almost anywhere else in the West Midlands,
and way above the national average, according to new figures
from Conservative campaigner Jesse Norman.
2008 the average house in Herefordshire cost £238,000,'
said Jesse. 'On some estimates that is 8.2 times higher
than average full-time earnings, and almost 10 times the
average household income. That's far higher than either
the West Midlands average (6.4), or the national average
(under 7). 'We need to recognize that there are two major
problems here. One is about housing, where there is a huge
lack of good, new, community led house building, a lack
of social housing, and waiting lists that have more than
doubled over the past ten years. The second problem is the
broader need to strengthen the county's economic base so
that local people can earn more and afford more. Unfortunately
the current recession has only made both these problems
good news is that the Tories have proposed some really interesting
new ideas on housing. These include new Community Land Trusts,
which allow villages to grow organically rather than in
a top-down way; a commitment to scrap regional planning
rules and a new opportunity for good tenants in social housing
to build up an ownership stake in their properties over
time. I think these proposals could make a huge difference
COUNTY RESIDENTS INVITED TO HAVE SAY ON FUTURE WASTE MANAGEMENT
Herefordshire Council is hoping to hear from residents about
future plans for waste management in this county and neighbouring
Worcestershire. The Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy
for Herefordshire and Worcestershire sets out how household
and some commercial waste is managed by councils in the
two counties. Originally put together in 2004, the strategy
covers the period up to 2034 and it is currently under review
with a number of important changes being proposed. Views
of residents are being sought on the proposed changes to
ensure that the final strategy reflects the needs and opinions
of local people.
there has been a marked reduction in the amount of waste
produced and an increase in recycling rates, there has been
a shift in national government approach to waste management.
There is now much more emphasis on reducing the effect waste
management has on climate change. As a result the government
has introduced tougher financial penalties to all council's
who exceed set landfill allowances. Landfill is a major
producer of methane gas, a greenhouse gas linked to harmful
climate change. In order to avoid these fines, the strategy
now includes consideration of how to use waste as a valuable
resource and how to reach recycling rates of 45 per cent
by 2015. Resident views and feedback will play a large role
in the review.
John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for
the environment and strategic housing said, 'We need to
start looking at waste as a potential resource as we simply
cannot continue to fill up landfill sites. Although we already
boast a number of fantastic recycling initiatives across
the two counties, we need to be even more creative in how
we deal with waste. It is important that residents have
the opportunity to share their views as this important issue
needs to be addressed collectively by the community and
I would urge everyone to make sure they have their say.'
feedback from the resident consultation and engagement will
be used to inform proposed solutions for long term, sustainable
waste management. Further information on the waste strategy
consultation is available from the council's website www.herefordshire.gov.uk/wastestrategy.
A short questionnaire is available for residents to give
us their views on this important document. You can fill
the questionnaire out online.
deadline for responses is 15th May 2009. For further information
or to request a questionnaire contact Herefordshire Council
on 01432 260051.
HELP FOR YOUNG PEOPLES HERITAGE PROJECTS AVAILABLE
An opportunity for young people's organizations to find
out about heritage grants is to take place at a workshop
in Hereford on the afternoon of Thursday, 30th April. Providing
grants of between £3,000 and £25,000, the Young Roots Programme
aims to involve 13-25 year-olds in finding out about their
heritage, developing skills, building confidence and promoting
community involvement. The projects funded through Young
Roots come directly from young peoples' interests and ideas,
helping them work with others in their local community.
Roots is a rolling programme run by the Heritage Lottery
Fund and there are no deadlines for applications. Representatives
from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be at Herefordshire
Council's Plough Lane offices to give a presentation, and
there will be the chance to meet local groups who have already
had successful Young Roots projects.
Adrian Blackshaw said, 'We're delighted to welcome Heritage
Lottery Fund staff to Hereford, and I hope that lots of
local young people's groups take advantage of this opportunity
to learn about the Young Roots scheme.'
book a place on the workshop, please contact the Project
Development Team on 01432 261793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COUNTY COMMUNITY ACCESS POINTS GET LIFELINE FROM POLICE FUNDING
Two Community Access Points in Herefordshire have been thrown
a financial lifeline by West Mercia Constabulary's Police
Community Fund. Community Access Points were set up with
the help of Herefordshire Council funding to allow local
communities to have access to computer technology, particularly
the Internet. The CAPs have proved popular in the rural
communities with older members, who do not wish or need
to buy or use computers all the time but want to surf the
net occasionally or send the odd email.
Council paid for the initial capital costs of the scheme
but each group then had the onus of funding room hire, insurance,
paper and ink etc. The schemes are run by volunteers, who
also help new members to cope with the wonderful world of
the Internet and all that it offers. West West Mercia's
Police Community Fund derives its income from part of the
proceeds of the sale of seized property and partly from
employee donations from salaries. The charity's main aim
is to help vulnerable victims of crime as well as helping
local community projects. The
Fund recently requested nominations of community projects
that needed a financial helping hand and CSO Stephanie Annette
from Bromyard Police Station put forward the CAPs at Bodenham
and Pudleston as worthy causes. The Fund awarded them each
Price from the Bodenham CAP said, 'The access points are
very popular but things like paper and ink put a considerable
drain on the money we have to run the project. We were in
danger of folding due to lack of funding but the money granted
to us by the Police Community Fund will enable us to continue
our good work for quite a while.'
Oxley from the Pudleston CAP agreed. 'The CAPs help to bring
the community together and keep up with modern technology.
This money will be of great benefit to all those using this
facility,' she said.
CSO Annette (centre) handing cheques to Christine Oxley (left) and
Jacqui Price (right).
FLAVOURS OF HEREFORDSHIRE 2009
The 2009 Flavours of Herefordshire awards scheme has just
been launched and has sparked yet another flurry of activity
amongst the county's best chefs, restaurateurs, publicans,
accommodation providers and food producers. Now in its eleventh
year, Flavours of Herefordshire is one of the longest-running
schemes in the UK which recognizes and rewards the use and
promotion of local produce. The full list of categories
for the 2009 Flavours of Herefordshire competition is featured
at www.visitherefordshire.net. Entry forms for the competition
can also be downloaded from the website or by telephoning
well as being one of the longest running, the scheme is
also one of the very best examples of how an area of Britain
can celebrate its regional flavours and is widely recognized
as being responsible for raising standards of quality and
service throughout the county since its inception eleven
years ago. 'The scheme celebrates the close link which exists
between Herefordshire's rural landscape and the food and
drink which is on offer to its residents and visitors alike,'
said cultural services manager, Jane Lewis. 'The annual
highlight is the Food Festival, in October, and our key
message at that this year will be about people having fun
with food. We want everyone to enjoy the county's full range
of local produce, and at the same time discover new ways
to enjoy it. As a result, visitors this year will find more
demonstrations by our visiting and local chefs during the
weekend and a lot more things for kids to do as well.'
innovative feature of this year's festival is that both
locals and visitors will be invited to submit a fully costed
recipe for a meal and drinks for two, for just £10, using
local beef and other local ingredients. The winner will
then be offered the opportunity to cook the recipe at the
Food Festival, or else have a local chef produce it for
them. The eleventh annual Flavours competition will reach
its conclusion on Friday, 23rd October, on the eve of the
2009 Herefordshire Food Festival.
TV chef Gino D'Acampo will be the guest of honour at the
prize giving gala dinner, as well as the participating chef
at the Food Festival which will give all members of the
public the chance to try and buy some of the UK's finest
local produce over the weekend of 24th and 25th October.
Copies of the current Flavours of Herefordshire Food Festival
leaflet can be obtained free of charge by telephoning 01432-260621.
Anyone wanting further information should log on to www.visitherefordshire.co.uk
for further details.
WOMAN ASSAULTED AT LOWER BULLINGHAM
Hereford Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident
during which a woman was assaulted in an unprovoked attack
by an unknown man in Lower Bullingham. The incident happened
at 10.15pm on Saturday, 11th April when the 24 year old
victim was walking down an alleyway between The Pastures
and a field. A man emerged from behind a hedge and for no
reason punched her in the face. She pushed him away and
he punched her again (in the eye) before pulling her to
the ground. She managed to kick the offender, regain her
footing and make for her home nearby.
offender, who is unknown to the victim, is described as
white, early 30's, 5'10" tall, large build with a stubbly
face. He was wearing a dark-coloured bomber-style jacket,
dark jeans and a black or navy cap with a white symbol on
the front. No attempt was made to steal anything from the
victim and police are puzzled as to the motive behind the
assault. They would like to hear from anyone who was in
the vicinity at the time who saw the assault or assailant.
with any information should contact Sgt Paul O'Reilly at
Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers
on 0800 555111.
COUNCIL URGES DOG OWNERS TO BE RESPONSIBLE
Herefordshire Council's new Community Protection Unit, which
includes two dog wardens, is spearheading an event in Hereford's
High Town aimed at encouraging dog owners to be responsible.
The event is being held on Saturday, 2nd May and is being
supported by local veterinary surgeons Brookfield Veterinary
Practice, who will have a vet and nurse there all day to
offer advice and information, as well as their animal ambulance.
wardens will be able to give advice and information about
responsible dog ownership and will bring their fully equipped
dog-van. Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue will be offering
a micro-chipping service on the day, as well as Greyhound
Rescue, Cats Protection League, who will be giving out free
neutering vouchers, Royal Canin who will be giving information
about nutrition, Vet Plus, information and vouchers to help
with cost of any vaccinations that may have lapsed, and
Merial who will be able to give information about parasite
control. Anyone with questions will have a whole team of
trained professionals on hand to be able to advise and be
able to be involved in demonstrations on how to look after
dogs responsibly. The
day has been planned to coincide with National Pet Month
and the key message this year is 'Healthy Pets Are Happy
Pets.' Further information can be found at www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk.
Free poop bags will be issued on the day to encourage people
to pick up dog mess. Councillor John Jarvis, who is a dog
owner himself said, 'I strongly believe every dog owner
has a responsibility to pick up after their dog. Dog mess
is one of the major areas we get complaints about and this
event aims to encourage all people who keep dogs to clean
up after them. We are aiming to raise awareness of this
issue and encourage the minority of irresponsible dog owners
to do their duty, making public spaces cleaner and more
pleasant for everyone.
average, dog fouling costs councils about £22million a year
to clean and it is not just a problem in urban areas but
affects the countryside as well. I would just ask every
dog owner to make sure they carry a plastic bag with them
when they go out and bag it before disposing of it in a