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28th July 2009 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
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COUNTDOWN TO CARNIVAL FUN

Saturday is Carnival Day 2009 and after a whole year of hard work by the Carnival Committee, a great day of fun for all the family has been planned. There was a great turnout of floats for the procession last year and there are even more entries this year. It isn't too late for you to get together with friends and neighbours to put in an entry of your own. You never know, you may turn out to be one of the lucky prize winners.

The Carnival Committee are asking for your help this year to ensure the smooth running of the procession. They need volunteers to stand at a junction until the procession has gone past, then open the road to traffic again by removing the 'Road Closed' sign once the floats have finished passing through. If you can help, please contact Carnival Chairman, Mel Hodges on 078896562403 for further information. The procession is a wonderful sight as it makes its colourful way around the town and down to the Carnival Field where a whole range of stalls, side-shows and activities await you.

Reiki healing for dogs is a new attraction this year, so if your little companion is feeling under the weather, why not take it along, or visit the stall for advice on your pet's well-being? The Cats Protection League will also be on hand for those who prefer our feline friends. There will be go karts and motorbikes, bouncy castles, food stalls, gift stalls, demonstrations and a whole host of other activities, so go along and have some fun on what will hopefully be the best Carnival Day ever!


The Jawahir Belly Dancers in a previous Carnival procession.

A DAY TO REMEMBER
By Lion Bernard Fowkes

A long time ago, when Ross resident Bernard Fowkes was still working, he was used to meeting Royalty and celebrities because that was part of his job. However, he got a completely different feeling when he received a letter from The Countess of Darnley, JP, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, asking if he would like to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of the voluntary service he was giving to his community.

Quickly accepting he then waited for his formal invitation from the Palace which took around another six weeks to arrive. Given the option he decided to go on the 14th July and was he glad he chose that date. On the other date offered there was a deluge which put the Palace lawns under three inches of water. As it was, on the day of the party, Bernard and his wife Jo travelled to London on the Green Line Coach Service and it was raining all the way until they actually got into London. Here it looked as if they had had no rain at all.

Arriving at Victoria they strolled along to Buckingham Palace and joined the queues waiting to attend the Garden Party. Everyone was smartly dressed with the ladies looking as if they were going to Ascot Races. There were about five thousand guests including a large number of military personnel. The people they met in the queue were very friendly and most were there for the same reason, what they had or were doing for their communities.

There were large marquees on the lawn where the food was served from. For saying there were 5,000 guests the service was excellent with hardly any waiting and they were soon sitting eating a wonderful buffet, again meeting up and talking to other guests. After the buffet most of the guests were asked to line up into two huge U shaped formations into which the Royals would walk and talk to selected guests who had been chosen by Aides. Jo managed to get on the front of the crowd and luckily both the Queen and Prince Phillip stopped to speak directly in front of her. Bernard was further back and had to look over the shoulders of people in front of him.

The other Royals attending were; Princess Alexandra, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex. Walking over to where the minor Royals were meeting guests, Bernard and Jo were approached by a Royal Aide who asked if they would like to meet Princess Alexandra. After taking their details and explaining the protocol when spoken to by Royalty he asked them to wait in a certain spot. Just as their turn was coming up the Royal Aide asked them if they would rather see Prince Edward and they said they would.

On being asked what they did by the Prince, Bernard said he was a member of the Ross Lions Club and that he ran a youth organization in Ross. Prince Edward said he knew all about the Lions because his wife was Patron of the Lions Clubs of Great Britain. He also spoke to Bernard's wife Jo asking her what she did. She told him she helps fund raise for Macmillan Nurses which he said was a worthy cause. During the conversation Prince Edward said to Jo 'Bernard must be one of those who always says yes' and Jo replied he doesn't understand the word no. After the short conversation he moved on to other guests.

All the time the sun shone and it was very warm. Bernard and Jo then listened in turn to two military bands which were playing at both ends of the garden after which they toured the gardens which were very extensive and well kept. They talked to several Royal Aides who said they knew Ross and what a wonderful area it was in. In the meantime the Queen was entertaining her family and other VIPS while hundreds of guests watched from a distance. Diplomats and their guests were being entertained in another marquee. The Queen left soon after this and the bands played the National Anthem. The guests then dispersed.

It was a super day, the weather couldn't have been kinder and the Garden Party with all those wonderful people there was excellent. When asked about his previous meetings with royalty Bernard said he was British Telecoms Liaison Officer for the Royal Family in Gloucestershire, dealing with their telecommunications needs and regularly visiting the royal residences.


Lion Bernard Fowkes and his wife, Jo enjoyed a wonderful day at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

THIEF SNATCHED PURSE FROM ELDERLY WOMAN

Police in Ross-on-Wye are appealing for information after a woman in her 80's who was returning home up Church Street had her purse snatched by a man who then ran off. The incident happened in Church Street, Ross at around 4pm on Sunday 26th July, when the victim became aware of a hand reaching around her left side. Her purse was then snatched from her left hand.

The woman turned around to see a white male, wearing a black hip length jacket and a black baseball cap, running back down Church Street, across the road and into the churchyard of St Mary's. His direction of travel from there is unknown. The black purse contained a Nectar card and a small amount of cash.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw the suspect either before the theft or running away afterwards. Anybody who knows the identity of the thief or who has any information that can help should contact PC Chris Smith at Ross Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


ROSS ROWING CLUB SQUADS SUCCESS AT BEWDLEY

Another weekend of success was enjoyed by Ross Rowing Club when they attended Bewdley regatta on the river Severn. The club amassed an impressive 13 wins over the two days with the mens squad notching up an impressive 5 and the junior academy continuing its excellent form with 8 victories.

The winners on Saturday were the men's Immediate 1st crew of Paul Carpenter, Phil Davies, Steve Randell, Rolland Robinson and cox, Morgan Baynham-Williams. Elle Blackwood, rowing in Wj15 singles also notched up an impressive victory over the 800m course. On Sunday the Junior Academy were upstaged by the men's Veteran crew of Jeremy Picton Turbervill, Graham Watling, Dave Sykes, Paul Brodholt and cox Geene Watling. Competing in open immediate coxed fours they proceeded to race against usually much younger crews and emerged victorious working through 3 rounds to beat a strong Stourport crew in the final. They added to this victory by beating a Bewdley crew in the final of their Veteran event.

Also from the men's squad, Chris Jones and Borris Darcy were successful in immediate 3 double sculls and Steve Randell and Phil Davies won in their open coxless pairs event. For the Juniors, Johan Lai continued his excellent form, winning in J12 single sculls and teamed up with Joel Bullock to win J13 double sculls.

Jess Crossman was successful in Wj12 singles and teamed up with Olivia Baynham-Williams, Megan Jephcote and Alice Reynolds to win Wj12 coxed Quads, with George Probert Coxing. In j12 double sculls Nick Burden and George were successful as were Alice and Jess Boon in Wj11 double sculls. Ross then capped the success by winning the wj12 double sculls the crew being Livi and Megan Jephcote.

Club Captain, Ian Howell commented, 'This was an impressive club performance. The Veteran crew especially deserve their success having worked exceptionally hard in the build up to the national events. The Junior Academy continues its excellent form and now returns to training in preparation for Stourport regatta in August.'


Ross Rowing Club Veteran Squad: Jeremy Picton-Turberville, Graham Watling, Dave Sykes, Paul Brodholt with cox Geene Watling.

OPENING OF NEW RETAIL MARKET A GREAT SUCCESS

Hereford's first open retail market in the city centre since medieval times was a huge success this weekend - despite another last-minute spoiler attempt by traders in the Buttermarket to stop it.

Herefordshire Council convinced the High Court of Justice in London to refuse an application on Thursday, 23rd July by trader Mr Len Tawn to reinstate a previous injunction to stop the relocation of the popular traditional open retail market moving from the livestock market to the High Town area. The council successfully argued that the last-minute attempt to gain another injunction was 'an abuse of court process'. Last Thursday the High Court of Justice's Lady Justice Dobbs ruled in favour of the council and found 'no merit' in the application to restore the injunction.

The grand opening of the open retail market took place as planned on Saturday, 25th July 2009 with Councillors John Stone and Adrian Blackshaw in full medieval garb. The event, which included street entertainment, brought in the crowds. Traders reported good takings and there was positive public comment. The council had previously consulted on the relocation of the market, as part of its plans to attract more visitors and shoppers to the city centre, and received overwhelming public support for the idea. The open retail market will now be found every Saturday and Wednesday at the High Town end of Commercial Street and St Peter's Street and will comprise 25 new gazebo-style stalls.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw said, 'I am delighted that traders experienced good trading results and that visitors to the city had a good day out. Rather than traders fighting each other, I would urge everyone to get together and work to market themselves more effectively and positively, based on an offering of enhanced choice and quality for shoppers in an outstanding and vibrant street environment. There is truth in the old adage: united we stand and divided we fall. The council will do everything in its power to support efforts to bring in more shoppers, tourists and visitors.'

Herefordshire Council has also reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Buttermarket and has allocated money in its capital budget to get an innovative refurbishment and improvement programme underway. The council also recently consulted traders on the revamping of Widemarsh Street, a key gateway to the Buttermarket and received a positive response.


Ross Rowing Club's victorious Junior Academy after a very successfulo day at Mosely.

A NEW ERA FOR SHOP WATCH

CSO Paul Cowmeadow and Dave Rhodes of The Electric Shop with the radios.

A Ross on Wye retail watch scheme is entering a new era and is looking for additional members to join the existing group. The 25-strong Shop Watch has recently been rejuvenated by CSO Paul Cowmeadow from the town's local policing team and is encouraging new members to join to make it even more effective.

The scheme works through a radio system, supplied by Mercia Radios and controlled by staff in the Heritage Centre at the Market House. The radio system allows the members to pass on and receive information about shoplifting suspects working in the town so that shop staff can be on their guard. The system also allows the circulation of information on missing persons, scams, counterfeit money and the like.

The scheme has a direct link to staff in the CCTV control centre, based in Hereford, who can monitor the broadcasts and follow events on their cameras. Each of the three members of the town's local policing team have a Shop Watch radio in addition to their police radio, which means they can be tipped off more quickly than going through the normal telephone system and it allows shop staff to have instant access to the police.

Dave Rhodes from The Electric Shop in Broad Street said, 'We've been in the scheme for a long while now and wouldn't want to be without it. It gives us instant access to the police in the town and helps reduce levels of crime. We've found it invaluable.' CSO Paul Cowmeadow added, 'The scheme recently helped to track two men and a woman across town, who were using counterfeit 20 notes to obtain goods or large amounts of change. Because the scheme is linked with the CCTV centre, we could track the suspects and let everyone know where they were. All three were arrested.'

Anyone interested in joining the scheme, which costs 52 per quarter and gives you your own radio unit to use, should contact the Ross Town Local Policing Team on 0300 333 3000 or call Mary Sinclair-Powell at the Heritage Centre on 01432 260675.


THEFT OF BASKET AND BIKES IN ROSS

The hanging basket that was stolen from Goodrich Court.

Police in Ross-on-Wye are appealing for information after one of two monster-size hanging baskets were stolen from an address in the town centre.

Between 10pm on Saturday, 25th and 9.45am on Sunday, 26th July 2009, thieves removed a profusely-flowering hanging basket, 3' in diameter, containing red, orange and peach coloured trailing begonias and small orange petunias, from outside a property at Goodrich Court, Cantilupe Road, Ross.

The owners followed a trail of broken flowers up Cantilupe Road, over Gloucester Road and to an area beyond the Chase Hotel where the trail goes cold. They say the basket was very heavy to carry and would have required a very strong person or more than one to lift it.

If anyone knows the current whereabouts of the property or has other information to offer, they should contact Lisa Hewitt in the Public Service Desk at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


Two mountain bikes have also been stolen from Cantilupe Road. This particular theft occurred between 3pm on Sunday, 12th and 8:30am on Monday, 13th July when thieves entered the curtilage of the owner's property and cut the bikes free from the chains that the owner had used to secure them to railings.

One of the bikes is a black Hardrock Specialized mountain bike, whose rear wheel is larger than the front. The other is a black Crosser Hardtail 24-gear mountain bike.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the theft or who knows the current whereabouts of the machines. Anyone with information should contact PC Lee Hull at Ross Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


JESSE CHOSEN AS PATRON OF HEREFORDSHIRE RIDING FOR THE DISABLED

Louis Baker with his prizes.

Local campaigner and Conservative parliamentary candidate, Jesse Norman has been chosen as the new Patron of Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and the appointment was formally made at the RDA's recent Annual General Meeting in Holme Lacy village hall.

Jesse's first act as Patron was to present cups and certificates to the RDA's winning riders this year, including Louis Baker. Louis qualified for the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) National Championships in Hartpury, Gloucestershire this year, competing with other riders from across the UK. He came first in his class in the Countryside Challenge, and he also scored higher than the seniors in the same class, winning a trophy.

Louis started riding at the age of three when he attended hippotherapy (physiotherapy on horseback) classes, and has progressed to riding Splash at RDA in Holme Lacy. His parents believe that riding has helped with his co-ordination, balance and concentration, and has built his confidence.

Speaking after the meeting, Jesse said, 'Many congratulations to Louis and to all the RDA prizewinners this year, and to the fantastic RDA staff and volunteers who make it all happen. I am absolutely thrilled to be working with RDA. Riding is extremely therapeutic for disabled people of all ages, and Herefordshire RDA do a terrific job of making it available and accessible to as many people as possible across the county.'

In the photograph are Jesse Norman with Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes (Chairman), Jackie Childs (Instructor) and Louis Baker.


SWINE FLU HELP LINE NOW OPEN

The new national swine flu help line is now open and anybody needing help or information should telephone 08001 513 100. The staff of this service should soon be able to ascertain whether or not you have swine flu and will be able to give the appropriate advice. The service is expected to relieve some of the pressure felt by GP practices across the country, including those in Herefordshire.

The launch, which took place on Thursday, 23rd July was promoted by a major public information campaign, with radio and newspaper advertising giving out the telephone number for the national call centre and the address for the new national website. People diagnosed by the national flu line will be given an authorization number that a 'flu friend' - a friend or relative who does not have swine flu - can use to pick up anti viral medicine from one of the local pharmacies stocking the drug.

The national flu line means that people will not need to consult a doctor and it will help take away some of the pressure from GP practices. NHS Herefordshire has stressed that people should not go to the accident and emergency unit or their GP surgery if they suspect they have swine flu, unless they are advised to do so by a health care professional. If people think they have swine flu they should stay at home, go online and check symptoms on www.nhs.uk or call the swine flu information line on 0800 1513513. If still concerned, people should then call the national flu service on 0800 1 513 100, or text phone 0800 1 513 200, which will make an assessment and may issue a unique anti viral authorization number for the patient's flu friend to collect a course of anti viral medicine.


COUNCIL TO SET UP NEW SYSTEM FOR PLANNING

Herefordshire Council is to set up a single 'super planning committee' to make decisions more open, transparent and democratic, enabling councillors to better represent their constituents on more controversial applications. At a meeting of the full council on Friday, 24th July, councillors voted after a two-hour debate to bring Herefordshire in line with national best practice.

The new system, to be reflected in the council's new constitution, will delegate more planning decisions to professional council planning officers - from 89 to 95 per cent of applications - and create a single planning committee of 19 councillors reflecting the political make up of the council and the geography of the county. The new committee would replace the current three committees and allow more members to speak up on planning issues of interest to their ward constituents.

The new system will ensure councillors sitting on the new committee will get the training and development they need in line with best practice to ensure there are few legal challenges and legal bills associated with planning decisions. The committee will be better able to deliver the county's big strategic planning and regeneration ambitions and local ward councillors will have more say and involvement in planning decisions. An Audit Commission report in April concluded that the council's committee structure was cumbersome and a council scrutiny committee also made the case for a single county planning committee.

Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for environment and strategic housing said, 'The council has demonstrated that it wants to ensure that all decision-making processes are more readily understood by local people, and that the council is seen as strategic, consistent, fair, efficient, accountable and transparent in how planning applications are dealt with.'

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