NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION
THE WYE VALLEY AND SOUTH HEREFORDSHIRE
YOUR CHANCE TO QUIZ HEREFORDSHIRES MOST SENIOR POLICE OFFICER
Liaising with the public and finding out about areas of
concern is very important to Herefordshire Police and in
view of this another round of Policing Matters' meetings,
one of which is to be held in Ross-on-Wye on Thursday, 11th
June have been organized. Members of the public are being
invited to find out more about policing in Herefordshire,
ask questions and make suggestions at a 'Policing Matters
in Central Herefordshire' which will take place on Thursday,
7th May. The meeting will take place in the Meeting Chamber
at Brockington, Hafod Road, Hereford, between 7 and 9pm
and will look back at the successes and challenges of the
previous year, and the way ahead for the Police Service
in Herefordshire. The meeting will be chaired by Councillor
Bernard Hunt, Police Authority member and Chair of the Herefordshire
Policing Board, supported by Chief Superintendent Mark Turner,
Herefordshire's senior Police Officer.
Councillor Hunt said, 'We hope to see many people coming
along. We are going out to the public as we think it's important
that they have the opportunity to find out more about how
their Police Service operates and performs and to be able
to question those responsible for making decisions and delivering
policing. By listening to their comments and suggestions
we hope to better understand the concerns of Central Herefordshire
residents and to ensure their views are taken into account
in our decision making.' Chief
Superintendent Mark Turner said, 'While the PACT meetings
and other processes enable us to understand and resolve
specific local issues, I welcome the opportunity these meetings
provide to explain and discuss longer term performance and
issues for policing the communities of Herefordshire.'
event will include an overview of the Division's performance
and the refreshed approach to policing in Herefordshire
will be explained. People attending will also have the opportunity
to meet informally with officers at the end of the meeting.
Matters meetings will also be taking place within North
and South Herefordshire. Policing Matters in North Herefordshire
will be held in the Main Hall of the Minster College, Leominster
on 21st May, from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm.
Matters in South Herefordshire will be held in the Music
Room at the Larruperz Centre on Thursday, 11th June, from
7pm to 9pm.
TAKE AN INTERESTING GUIDED WALK AROUND ROSS-ON-WYE
A free guided walk with a difference will be taking place
on Monday, 11th May when Mary Sinclair-Powell will be taking
participants around Ross-on-Wye, telling lots of interesting
stories about some of the lesser known history of the town.
walk, which will take place between 7pm and 8:30pm is suitable
for people of all ages and abilities but places are limited,
so if you would like to take part, bookings are being taken
at Ross Heritage Centre. You could take a chance and just
turn up on the evening at 6:45pm but the walks are very
popular, so booking is well advised.
the weather is unsuitable for a guided walk outdoors, Mary
will give a most interesting talk in the Heritage Centre
itself instead. To book your place or for further information,
please telephone the Heritage Centre on 01432 260675 between
10am and 5pm.
CHORAL SOCIETY TO CELEBRATE MENDELSSOHNS 200TH ANNIVERSARY
Ross-on-Wye Choral Society will be completing its 2008 /
2009 season with a performance of Mendelssohn's rousing
oratorio 'Elijah' to celebrate the 200th anniversary of
the composer's birth.
his first visit to England in 1829, Mendelssohn quickly
became a favourite with the British public, including Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert and the first performance of
Elijah took place in Birmingham in August 1846. It is fitting
therefore that the Society has invited young soloists from
the Birmingham Conservatoire to join them in this concert.
They are Lianne Birkett (Soprano), Olivia Barry (Contralto),
Swedish tenor, Mikael Onelius and taking the title role,
Brazilian Bass Baritone, Marlon Da Silva Maia. James Brown
will be providing organ accompaniment and the performance
will as usual be under the baton of Conductor Ian Fox. It
promises to be one of the highlights of the Ross on Wye
concert will take place on Saturday, 16th May at 7.30p.m.
in St Mary's Parish Church and promises to be one of the
highlights of the Ross-on-Wye musical calendar. Tickets
are priced at £15.00 (reserved) £10.00 (unreserved) and
are available from The County Collection and Mervyn James
in Ross on Wye, The Outback in Hereford, from the Ticket
Secretary Sarah Weller (01989 566326) and on the door. Early
booking is recommended.
prices are available for parties of 10 or more via the Ticket
NHS HEREFORDSHIRE REMAIN VIGILANT IN GUARD AGAINST SWINE FLU
The local authorities in Herefordshire are asking residents
to remain vigilant and take all necessary hygiene measures
to prevent the spread of swine flu. There are currently
no confirmed cases of the infection in this county, although
there have been cases in neighbouring Worcestershire and
World Health Organization (WHO) remains at alert level 5
today, Monday, 5th May and the Primary Care Trust along
with the council and the County Hospital are prepared in
case a pandemic (level 6) is declared. A Public Health Incident
Team was established on Monday, 27th April.
Swine Flu Incident Room and a Herefordshire Flu Help Line
is set up at NHS Herefordshire's offices in Hereford and
these will be activated in the event of a pandemic. Both
the Primary Care Trust and the council have begun to switch
staff from their normal duties to support preparations,
such as staffing the flu line and helping to manage the
distribution of anti viral medicine, while ensuring that
the other usual health and council services are maintained.
of public health, Dr Akeem Ali is Herefordshire's lead on
the issue. 'In Herefordshire, it is important that we do
not become complacent,' he said. 'There is so much that
is not yet known about the virus and how it spreads, so
we must continue to be prepared for a possible pandemic,
whilst hoping for the best. Everyone can continue to take
a few simple steps at home, at work or at school to maintain
good respiratory and hand hygiene. Always use a tissue to
catch your sneezes, throw away used tissues where germs
can linger and regularly wash your hands.'
Herefordshire, the authorities have been sending out regular
updates to community groups, schools, youth clubs, residential
homes, businesses, GP surgeries, dentists and pharmacists.
The Department of Health has launched a Swine Flu Information
Line - 0800 1513513 - which contains pre-recorded messages
giving background to the disease and what we can all do
to prevent its spread. It will refer callers who need more
assistance to NHS Direct. Everybody in Herefordshire will
shortly receive a swine flu information leaflet, as part
of a national door drop, and every household should have
received one by 17th May. People can get copies of the leaflets
immediately, however, by downloading them from www.direct.gov.uk/swineflu.
GPs have been asked to download copies of the leaflets and
display them in their surgeries. The council and the primary
care trust are making translations of the flu leaflets available
on their web sites to help migrant and seasonal workers
stay healthy too.
keep the public informed a mass public health campaign has
begun on TV and radio. The adverts remind people of the
measures they can take to contain the spread of swine flu.
Information for public can be found on: www.nhs.uk and www.hpa.org.uk
- as well as on the council's website www.herefordshire.gov.uk
and the primary care trust web site http://www.herefordshire.nhs.uk.
The advice is, if you have come back from Mexico or one
of the affected countries, and have flu like symptoms, stay
at home and call your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
are simple steps that people and their families should take
to help prevent catching colds and flu:
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using
2. Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
3. Maintain good basic hygiene - wash hands often with soap
and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands
to face or to other people.
4. Clean hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) often using a
normal cleaning product.
5. Make sure your children follow this advice.
government are not advising avoidance of mass gatherings,
so public events within the county are expected to go ahead
as planned with no restrictions in place. However, NHS Herefordshire
stresses that it is important that people attending events
should continue to take the hygiene measures designed to
protect everyone from the virus, including washing their
hands frequently and covering their mouth and nose when
coughing or sneezing. The position will be reviewed if the
situation changes. Preparations
for holding local and European elections will proceed as
planned but will be kept under review in liaison with EU
and other children's services are expected to be operating
as usual at present and have been alerted to additional
guidance on planning for, and responding to, pandemic flu.
Schools and other children's or young people's services
are asked to download and display the government flu leaflet
on notice boards. Higher and further education colleges
will not be advised to close even during a pandemic. Local
businesses can obtain more specific advice from www.businesslink.gov.uk
- which signposts to relevant guides on developing continuity
plans. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform website also has good information on www.berr.gov.uk.
PART OF A40 NOW CONTROLLED BY COUNCIL
Herefordshire Council has taken over control of the A40
from the Labels roundabout in Ross up to the Gloucestershire
boundary. The road will now be under direct control of the
council instead of the Highways Agency. As part of the detrunking
process, this part of the A40 becomes a principal road and
the council will receive payments from the Department for
Transport to ensure its upkeep.
Hall, Herefordshire Council's networks manager, said, 'We
are pleased to take over the responsibility for managing
this section of the A40. As the local authority, we are
best placed to manage and maintain this route to meet Herefordshire's
needs, as expressed in our policies and plans.'
ROAD WORKS AND GRASS CUTTING WORK ABOUT TO BEGIN
Herefordshire Council and its partner Amey are about to
commence this year's surface dressing programme to the county's
roads. Surface dressing is a cost effective way of restoring
and preserving road surfaces which involves a coating of
bitumen being sprayed onto the road surface, followed by
one or more layers of hard stone chippings. As the bitumen
sets, the chippings stick to the road surface and are further
embedded by rolling in.
process is rapid compared to many other surfacing techniques
and avoids lengthy closures and disruption to road users.
However, drivers do need to travel very slowly on the newly
laid surface to prevent chippings being dislodged. Signs
will be in place telling motorists to slow down. Inconsiderate
drivers travelling above the recommended speed cause chippings
to be thrown up which can damage vehicles and property and,
more importantly, injure people.
work coincides with the planned grass cutting programme
which is carried out to ensure overgrown verges do not cause
visibility problems for motorists. Richard Ball, Assistant
Director of Environment and Culture said, 'This work is
a necessary and essential part of our annual road maintenance
programme and I would ask motorists to be patient when travelling
along roads where surface dressing is being carried out.
We will also be taking many measures to reduce inconvenience
to motorists by providing advisory and warning signs.'
oh why was this work not carried out earlier in the year?
The timing of this work coincides with the start of the
busiest time of year on our roads, causing inconvenience
not only to our regular motorists but to the thousands of
visitors to the area.
NEW FEE SYSTEM FOR HEREFORDSHIRE FOSTER CARERS
Herefordshire Council has introduced a new fee system for
foster carers which will help professionalise their roles,
provide a better career structure and pay more to reflect
the value of the work they do. Herefordshire's fostering
allowances needed to be revised as they had fallen below
the national average.
this year, the government launched new training standards
to professionalise the fostering service and Herefordshire
Council agreed to use the standards to underpin a new fee
structure which reflected skills and competencies. This
has resulted in an increase in allowances for children placed
in foster care and higher fees for their carers, provided
they undertake the training required.
first level, level one, requires carers to undertake mandatory
training in diversity, safeguarding and first aid, then
choose one more workshop from a selection available. Councillor
Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's service, said,
'Fostering is a challenging but incredibly rewarding job.
It requires a very special kind of person to become a foster
carer and make a real difference to children's lives. The
council is keen to provide support and recognition for local
carers. We want Herefordshire children to be placed with
Herefordshire carers so that children can stay in their
existing school and retain as much normality in their lives
work our foster carers do is invaluable which is why we
were keen to make sure that the revised payment system reflected
their skills and gave them the opportunity for career progression
too. Some of our older children can be very challenging
because of their life experiences, requiring their carers
to have considerable experience, skills and understanding.
Having a tiered fee system allows us to recognize these
new allowances paid by Herefordshire Council are, for the
first time, in excess of the government's recommended rates.
They vary according to the age of the child and experience
of the carers. For example, a level one carer looking after
a 5-10 year old would receive around £216 a week plus free
Halo leisure membership for carer and child, help with transport,
holidays and clothing allowances. A level three carer looking
after a 16-17 year old would receive around £375 a week
plus other benefits.
who is interested in fostering should ring 01432 383478.
Training and support is provided.