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NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE
THE WYE VALLEY AND SOUTH HEREFORDSHIRE
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CARNIVAL PRINCESS CONTEST THIS COMING SUNDAY

The heat is on and the competition hot for the title of Carnival Princess 2009. If your little princess would like to try for the title, get her to dress in her finest and take her to the Larruperz Centre to register at 2pm on Sunday. The competition is always well supported and the girls all encourage each other as they wait to be seen and interviewed by the judges.

In order to enter, your child must live in the HR9 area and be aged between 6 and 13 years by 1st August 2009. Carnival Princess 2008, Darcie had a lovely year of reign, helping Mayor Davies open Ross Country Music Festival, welcoming the Ross-in-Bloom judges and visiting Merton House Hotel's annual fete amongst other duties. Why not let it be your little girl's turn this time?.

Carnival Day falls on Saturday, 1st August this year and there will be lots to see and do on the day. The committee are pleased to announce that there will be an unusual addition to the attractions this year by way of Reiki healing for pets! Reiki has become a recognized and popular form of holistic therapy for people and apparently is just as good for animals.

Why not join in the Carnival procession with your pet? After which you could take it along to the Reiki healer to see how much healthier it could be.


DEAN HILL PARK TO GET SHARE OF £1.1 MILLION FOR OUTDOOR PLAY

Dean Hill Park is one of twenty two Herefordshire parks that will get a share of £1.1 million to improve outdoor play facilities. The council successfully put in a bid to the Department for Children, Families and Schools under the Playbuilder scheme, to improve play areas for 8 to 13 year olds in local communities over the next two years.

Rather than swings, slides and more traditional equipment, the fund will be used to create exciting innovative play areas that will facilitate play in the natural environment. The emphasis is on making the most of the county's green spaces by creating play opportunities for children which are challenging and allow them to take risks. A range of exciting play equipment will be installed in response to local children's requests and more natural features such as logs, mounds and boulders might also be used.

Eleven projects have been identified for this year and the parks included are, Dean Hill Park, Ross-on-Wye, Roman Park, Credenhill, Bromyard Recreation Ground, Peterchurch Recreation Ground, Bye Street Recreation Ground, Ledbury, Crooked Well Meadow, Kington, The Grange, Leominster, Sydonia, Leominster, King George V Playing Fields, Herefordshire, Northolme, Belmont and Prospect Walk, Hereford. Local communities will be consulted to find out what children want in these particular areas before ideas are presented to them for further consideration. Parish and Town councils are being contacted, together with local councillors to encourage their involvement.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services, said, 'This is great news for Herefordshire and provides us with an opportunity to create some exciting places for children to play in. Children in Herefordshire have told us that they want to play more adventurously and be free to enjoy themselves in the natural environment, which is why we welcome the focus of this funding to allow greater access to 'natural' play. This will encourage children to get outside and enjoy themselves freely with their friends, use their imaginations and be physically challenged - all important aspects of a child's development.'

Herefordshire Council will shortly be inviting expressions of interest from community groups for eleven more projects to run from 2010 to 2011, so anyone with any ideas needs to start working on them now. Each project has to focus on 8-13 year olds, provide a wide range of play experiences and be committed to providing open-ended adventurous play in a stimulating environment for all children, regardless of their background or ability.

The first eleven projects have to be up and running by April 2010 so preliminary meetings with local communities will begin taking place within the next few weeks.


YOU REALLY CAN HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT ROSS!

In a recent issue of Wyenot News, PACT meetings were described as an opportunity to voice your concerns to your Local Policing Team. This is indeed true. However, there is much more to these meetings than policing issues I discovered. The rare occurrence of not working when a PACT meeting was being held presented itself, so I went along to the Larruperz Centre on Tuesday to find out what these meetings are all about.

The meeting began with a presentation by Councillor John Jarvis and Andy Tector who gave a very informative talk about the forthcoming changes in the collection of refuse and recyclable materials. All residents will soon receive a fully comprehensive leaflet on how the changes will affect them. There was some concern about the future of the present recycling skips in the Swimming Pool car park and other venues, as well as the impact that this scheme will have on the people who currently work on the Blue Box scheme. These issues are all to be addressed as are other issues that were raised.

Andrew Middlecote of Herefordshire Council's Highways and Transportation department was quizzed on a variety of issues, including the pot holes in the rural roads after flooding and the implementation of 20 mph speed limits near local schools. Until a speed limited is imposed, the Police are unable to intervene, however, Local Police Officer, PC Mark Murphy informed the meeting that tests using a speed gun in specific areas have been carried out to monitor the situation. This shows how the different bodies work as a partnership to resolve traffic issues amongst other things.

There were some concerns about people, in particular under aged persons drinking in designated Alcohol Free Zones. PC Mark Murphy assured those present that regular patrols of these areas are made, but would be stepped up.

The meeting was attended by County Councillors, Town Councillors, Parish Councillors and of course, members of our Local Policing Team but sadly, very few members of the public.

The Partnership And Community Together means just that. They work together to make the town of Ross-on-Wye better for you. If you don't take your issues to them, they won't be able to resolve them.

I personally am looking forward to the next PACT meeting in three months time. Hopefully I'll see you there.


BEDTIME STORY SESSION AT ROSS LIBRARY

Ross Library are hosting a special Bedtime Story event for children on Friday, 29th May as part of the celebrations of National Family Week and the Booktrust Bedtime Reading Week which run from Monday, 25th to Sunday 31st May. The session will run from 2:15pm until 2:45pm. Children are welcome to take along their teddy bears and each child attending will receive a free Busy bear Story book to take home to share with their family.

Various Storytime events are being held throughout the county between Wednesday, 27th May and Tuesday, 2nd June. Julia Radburn, principal officer young people and learning, said, 'The events aim to encourage all of the family to get involved in the sheer joy and pleasure of reading aloud. Sessions are free and may include stories, rhymes and other fun activities.'

Please contact Julie Goodwin, Herefordshire Council's early years officer, on 01432 261644 or your local library or children's centre for further information.


ROSS - CONDE TWINNERS CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY IN NORMANDY

The Ross members of Ross - Conde Twinning Association visited their counterparts in France over the weekend of 1st to 4th May to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Associations partnership. The Ross contingent left by coach at 3.00am on Friday, 1st to catch the Ferry at Portsmouth and the twinners were looking forward to seeing their hosts and friends again. On the Friday evening the two groups were treated to a reception at the Conde Town Hall provided by the Mayor of Conde. The meeting was very emotional as friends met again for the first time in a year. Those taking part for the first time were feeling rather apprehensive, but still looking forward to making new friends.

On Saturday, 2nd visitors were free to spend time with their hosts and do as they liked. Much of the time was taken up with eating as the French tend to do well. However, many places were visited, including museums, châteaux, other towns, sites of interest plus much more. After dinner with their hosts, all went to bed to build up energy for the coming day.

There were so many activities set up for the Sunday that it was impossible to enjoy them all. However, there was no pressure on anybody as they could do as much or as little as they wished. Lion, Bernard Fowkes began his day by having a ride in a vintage car, in convoy with 17 other vintage vehicles around the town of Conde. These excursions were followed by a visit to an Art Exhibition. Lunch then followed at the Conde Sports Centre which was a wonderful experience.

Two hundred and fifty six sat down to dine and as usual the eating and drinking took several hours to get through. 'This was wonderful in itself,' said Bernard, 'but during the meal there was a singer entertaining the diners and there was a group dressed in national dress which performed dances similar to our Morris Dancers. To top it all diners could have a dance between courses. What an event!'

During this time the younger members of the association were playing under 14 years of age football between the English and French and a Jazz band was playing on the bandstand. 'Whoever did the organizing did a good job. Later in the evening there was another reception in the 'Marie,' when the Chairman of the Ross Association, Sharon Clayton, presented the Conde Mayor with a bench, a gift from Ross Town to mark the special milestone of 30 years of twinning. This was followed by the speeches provided by Sharon Clayton for the Ross Twinners, John Edwards on behalf of the town of Ross, the Mayor of Conde and Sylviane Paris for the Conde Twinners. As if this wasn't enough, everyone then marched off to the local cinema where the Penyard Singers were putting on a concert, giving the performance of their life, singing mainly in French. They did a wonderful job and received a standing ovation at the end.'

The parting on the Monday morning was a very emotional event with everyone vowing 'see you soon.' There was one thought going through the Ross Association Committee's minds though, which was how could they match that weekend when the French visit Ross. Luckily for the organizers this will not be necessary until the next milestone of 35 years which will give them time to think. Bernard Fowkes.


THIEVES GET AWAY WITH ENERGY DRINKS HAUL AT WHITCHURCH

Whilst a lorry driver slept in his cab, thieves cut a 10' hole in the near side curtain of the trailer and removed eight pallets of the Lucozade Sport drink, which has been valued at £11,500. The theft occurred sometime between 10:30pm on Tuesday, 5th and 5:30am on Wednesday, 6th May on the East bound carriageway of the A40 trunk road at Whitchurch, near Ross-on-Wye, where the lorry driver had pulled up for the night.

Police are anxious to hear from anyone who was travelling on the A40 during the stated time period who may have seen any suspicious activity at the side of the road in the Whitchurch area. Anyone with information is urged to call PC Lee Hull at Ross Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call the free Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.


NATIONAL COMPETITION FROM LOCAL INITIATIVE

Ross-based Junkk.com, the free reuse ideas website, has been asked to create and host a national plastics reuse ideas competition which is free to enter, with some nifty prizes on offer for the brightest and best.

‘We were very flattered to be asked to take part’, said web site founder, Pete Martin aka Junkk Male/Big ‘Ed Peter, ‘as it’s not just a recognition of the value of reuse as part of the waste-sparing mix, but also a perfect example of our main philosophy of encouraging the public through reward rather than nanny, nag, fine or guilt’.

Junkk.com is keen to get the word out wherever possible to encourage participation, from anyone with a 'nifty' idea which might just spare some plastic waste ending up in the bin or landfill. There are some great prizes - the grand prize a recycled park bench, possibly being the perfect incentive for schools, scouts or other community groups to get their thinking caps on and try and win the BIG one.

Remember how well the recent Voucher Tree initiative worked out for everyone? The competition can be entered directly from the Junkk.com front page, with a link to all anyone needs to know. But you don’t have to worry if you don’t have an idea as it’s totally free to roam and enjoy all the site ideas already up there! For those who do get inspired, as the latest gets entered it is automatically boosted to pride of place on the home page in rotation with blog entries, so you could see your idea in front of everyone.

Judging will be after the competition closes at the end of the month and Dennis Humble of EnviroAbility has already signed up to be on the jury to help cast an expert eye on the submissions that will be assessed for prizes.

‘Green is getting even more interest now,’ said Peter. ‘Perhaps now even more monetary savings can be enjoyed at a individual level on top of less tangible, but still very valuable personal commitments to making the future of the planet more secure for our kids. We’d like to think this little competition can not only be fun, but make a very real point that green need not only be good, but rewarding to the pocket too’.


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