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Herefordshire Council is fully backing a bid to bring a university to the county and will contribute prime development land to house a new higher education campus in Hereford as part of its ambitious plans to regenerate the city centre. The cabinet approved the allocation of the council-owned Blackfriars site, which is worth 1.2 million, to demonstrate its support for a bid to bring a university or higher education facility to the ESG development between the new retail quarter and urban village.

In 2008, Herefordshire was announced as being among the first to register for one of 20 places in the UK where a new university centre will be built under a 150 million government initiative called 'New University Challenge.' The council will be able to make the Blackfriars Education Centre available when employees move to the proposed new administrative centre for the council and the primary care trust in Plough Lane, Hereford. The council also owns a portion of Merton Meadow car park, to be included in the site to the north, and ESG Herefordshire Limited will negotiate with the Red Cross and a furniture retailer to expand the site to 1.3 hectares.

'This commitment has been made possible by the council's proposal to create a single administration centre at Plough Lane, which in itself will save costs in the long term but will also free up several city centre sites for development purposes,' said Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for resources. 'The allocation of the Blackfriars site for a new university is the best possible use for the 1.2 million we could have secured for the site.'

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, cabinet member for economic development said, 'If we are successful in our bid then we will be able to offer higher education to the talented young people who leave our successful schools and would otherwise move to universities outside of the county, most likely never to return. With an attractive campus here in Hereford we may well bring in more talented individuals from outside of the county, which in turn provides the right skills base to make the city attractive to enterprises already here or thinking of locating to Hereford.'

There was broad, cross party support for the move at the cabinet meeting. Other benefits included the fact that a city university made higher education more affordable for local young people and also for mature members of the community that also wanted the chance to go to university. Herefordshire's bid is being developed by the long established Higher Education for Herefordshire Board, which includes representation from Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire, local further education establishments, the Open University and surrounding universities operating in Herefordshire, the Bulmer Foundation, the Lifelong Learning Network, the Learning and Skills Council, the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, ESG Ltd., the Robert Owen Society, the National College for the Blind, Advantage West Midlands, Government Office West Midlands and Worcester University.


Police in South Herefordshire are appealing to anybody who may have seen any suspicious activity in Much Marcle on Tuesday to contact them following a distraction burglary in the village.

At approximately 10.50am police were called to an address in Much Marcle, near Ledbury, after two young men in pullovers, posing as water board officials talked their way into a house and asked the occupant to clear the cupboard under the sink. Whilst he was doing this, the men searched the front room. The occupier found one of them going through a cupboard and struck the offender with his walking stick, demanding they leave the premises, which they did. Nothing was taken. The two offenders are described as 18 to 19 years of age, both wearing dark coloured pullovers. No vehicle was seen at the time by the victim.

Once again, police would reiterate the advice not to let anyone into your home without proper identification. Genuine callers such as gas fitters, postal workers, police officers and meter readers will all carry identification cards and are quite happy to wait whilst the occupant checks them out if they are unsure. Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who was in the Much Marcle area around 10am on Tuesday, 9th June who may have seen the two suspects or have seen other suspicious activity in the district that day.

If you have any information that can help, please contact DC Darren Ball from Ross on Wye CID on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers, free on 0800 555111.


A campaign to ensure those susceptible to serious complications from catching flu are given a vaccine to protect them against developing pneumonia has been launched by NHS Herefordshire and will run until the end of August. Although the vaccine being offered does not protect against flu, it does help to prevent serious complications such as pneumonia developing in people who have caught it.

The Primary Care Trust is targeting the Pneumococcal Vaccination catch-up Campaign at vulnerable groups who are most likely to have serious complications if they catch flu, including swine flu. These groups are children below the age of five years who have not had a complete course of pneumococcal vaccine as a part of childhood immunization programme, all those aged between five and sixty four years in the clinical risk groups and front-line NHS health care staff in the county.

'"The pneumococcal vaccine offers protection against invasive pneumococcal disease such as pneumonia, which is one of the serious complications that can set in following a bout of any flu infection, including swine flu,' said Dr Akeem Ali, Herefordshire's Director of Public Health. 'We've identified all individuals eligible for pneumococcal vaccine in the catch-up campaign across the county. In the next few weeks they will receive invitation letters asking them to make an appointment for vaccination with their GP surgery. We've particularly launched this campaign in the context of recent outbreaks of swine flu and the fact that swine flu vaccine is not yet available. It's important to note that pneumococcal vaccine will not protect anyone from catching flu, or indeed swine flu, but those who complete a course of pneumococcal vaccine will be protected against pneumonia, which is one of the serious complications that can develop. I would strongly urge those who are vulnerable to complications from flu to take up this opportunity to make sure that they have a complete course of pneumococcal vaccine.'

Front-line health care staff will be offered the vaccine by the occupational health department of the Herefordshire Hospital NHS Trust.


NHS Herefordshire is taking its chlamydia screening programme on the road during the summer and the young people of Ross-on-Wye will be able to take advantage of this service in Kyrle Street, near the swimming pool on Saturday, 27th June between 12 Noon and 4pm. The screening service is travelling across the county in a bid to increase the number of young people getting tested for chlamydia and gonorrhoea and to offer advice and support on sexual health issues across the county.

The programme is aimed at those aged between 16 and 24 years who will be offered free postal kits so that they can take the test at home and post it to the laboratory themselves. Alternatively young people can take the opportunity to be screened there and then utilizing the public conveniences. Free condoms and lube will be given to each person being screened.

The travelling screening service has already visited Leominster and Kington, with further dates being arranged for Ledbury and Hereford's High Town. These dates will be published on the NHS web site www.herefordshire.nhs.uk. The local NHS mobile unit will also be in Bromyard on Saturday, 20th June from 12 Noon until 4pm in Tenbury Road, behind the leisure centre.

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