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28th October 2009 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
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WILTON COURT IS FLAVOURS RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2009

Congratulations to Roger and Helen Wyn and the staff at Wilton Court Hotel upon being selected as Restaurant of the Year at the Flavours of Herefordshire Awards 2009. The Flavours of Herefordshire scheme aims to encourage all catering and retail outlets in the county to use and promote the use of locally sourced produce and reward those judged to be serving up the very best flavour of the county to their customers.

Wilton Court faced some stiff competition in their endeavour as the scheme is open to all in the county, but the hard work paid off and Helen and Roger are now looking forward to the Heart of England awards which are due to take place in Birmingham later this week. Helen and Roger were delighted to be presented with their award by TV celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo on Friday evening but put their success down to the hard work of their staff, whom they say take a great pride in their work. Well done to you all.

Continued >>>

Proprietors of Wilton Court, Roger and Helen Wyn with Head Chef, Michael Fowler are delighted with their award of Restaurant of the Year 2009.

Many businesses from Ross-on-Wye did well in the 2009 Flavours campaign and we have listed some of the winners below. Our congratulations go to you all.

The Best Breakfast Award, sponsored by the British Pig Executive went to Walford Court Tearoom and Guest House at Leintwardine. Both the Orles Barn Hotel at Wilton and Glewstone Court Hotel were finalists in this category.
The Best Pub/Inn award, sponsored by Wye Valley Brewery was awarded to the Three Horseshoes at Little Cowarne, Bromyard and in their first year of business, Leanne and Aaron Simms of the Red Lion Inn at Peterstow were finalists.
The Best Gastro Pub award went to the Mill Race at Walford.
Winners of the Best Restaurant award were Wilton Court Hotel and commendations went to the Bridge at Wilton and Glewstone Court.
The Best Tearoom award was sponsored by Business Link. The winner of this category was the Monkland Cheese Dairy of Leominster and Pots and Pieces of High Street, Ross-on-Wye were finalists.
Business Link also sponsored the Best Tearoom in a Visitor Attraction award which was won by the Courtyard Centre for the Arts café bar.
Winner of the Retailer of the Year award was the Pengethley Farm Shop at Peterstow and Truffles Delicatessen of High Street, Ross was commended.
The Best Food Producers (small) award was sponsored by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and was won by Just Rachel Quality Desserts from Bromsberrow, Nr. Ledbury.
The Best Food Producers (large) award was presented to Tyrrells potato Chips from Leominster.
Winner of the Best Drink Producers went to Jo Hilditch, British Cassis & British Framboise of Lyonshall. Ross Cider & Perry Co. Ltd of Broome Farm Peterstow were commended.
The Best Young Chef in Industry award was presented to Scott Davies of Home Lacy House and Rachel Williams of Wilton Court Hotel was runner-up.
The Best Young Chef (Education) award went to Shea Bevan of Herefordshire College of Technology.

The award for Outstanding Achievement went to Glyn Slade Jones Family Butchers of Kington and Oliver's Cider & Perry won the award for Global Excellence. The Outstanding New Entrant award was presented to Mortimer Country Stores of Wigmore, Leominster.



'CARELESS' DRIVER HAS APPEAL DISMISSED . . . BUT BAN REDUCED

At Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, 20th April 2009, Philip Evans of Glewstone, Ross-on-Wye was found guilty of driving without due care and attention, an act which led to the death of 16 years old Dean Fulford. Evans' punishment was an 18 months driving ban, a fine of £200 plus a contribution of £100 towards court costs. Not content with the court's findings, however, and yearning to get back behind the wheel of a car, Evans lodged an appeal which was heard at Hereford's Crown Court on Thursday, 22nd and Friday 23rd October. After careful consideration of all the evidence, testimonies and expert witness reports, the Judges ruled that the conviction was sound and dismissed the appeal.

As the Prosecution was applying for costs, Evans, through his barrister said he had no argument about the finding or the new fines or costs imposed. However, he was unemployed and without his licence he would be unable to find work. There was only one bus a day each way from where he lived into town. Prior to his conviction in April he had been training as a mechanic but since he was banned from driving and had no qualifications the Job Centre had told him that he would find it difficult to get work.

The judges retired to discuss the matter and after a short while gave their decision to reduce the ban from 18 months to six, which means that as six months has elapsed since Evans was initially banned, he can now drive again. Needless to say, Dean Fulford's family are devastated by this decision and my heart goes out to them.

The story prior to the appeal

Dean Fulford was just one week away from his seventeenth birthday when the moped he was riding along the A40 towards Ross-on-Wye was hit from behind by the Mitsubishi Colt being driven by Evans. As a result of the impact, Dean was thrown from his moped and was subsequently run over by another vehicle. Dean died at the scene from multiple injuries. Evans had pleaded not guilty to the charge of driving without due care and attention, but the case against him was proven.

The District Judge, presiding, imposed the ban, informing those present that, had the charge against Evans been brought some weeks later, a custodial sentence could have been given, as there had since been a change in the law. Unfortunately, the new law could not be applied retrospectively otherwise such a sentence might well have been given. The outcome of this case brings little comfort to Dean's family, his girlfriend Rebecca and friends, who have waited for 20 months to see Evans brought to justice.

Wyenot News (Tina's) opinion

Philip Evans repeatedly changed his story as to whether he looked across at the friend he was overtaking just moments before he hit Dean's Moped. He has shown no remorse for Dean's death. He has never accepted any responsibility for it. He was not bothered by the guilty finding or the fines imposed, he simply wanted his licence back. As I heard him admit during the first court case, he enjoys fast driving. I find that rather worrying. Let us hope that Evans has learned something from this and will drive more carefully in the future.


NOT IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD

Monday 2nd November 2009 sees the start of 'Not In My Neighbourhood Week', a Home Office campaign designed to raise public awareness of the work being carried out to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour at a local level. In Herefordshire, West Mercia's local policing teams will be out in force with members of the other partner agencies to demonstrate to the community how they are endeavouring to keep the county safe.

Gabrielle Wright, Police Strategic Partnerships Manager for Herefordshire Division, said, 'One of the aims of Not In My Neighbourhood Week is to prove that all the local agencies in Herefordshire are working really well together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and to show what has been achieved. We want to find local solutions to local problems and make full use of the PACT (Partners And Communities Together) process to highlight problems as they occur and take measures that will sort them quickly and efficiently. We have arranged a number of events throughout Herefordshire in all the market towns to show our communities that not only are we all working effectively together but we are achieving results by so doing.'

Events and activities have been arranged at the following venues across the county:

Ross (4th November)
Static display in the Maltings, advertising the PACT process, information on crime prevention and an opportunity to meet the award-winning local policing team.

Bromyard (2nd November)
1) Static display at the Co-op, Tenbury Road, Bromyard with crime prevention advice from PC Charles Naylor as well as an opportunity to meet your local policing team and discuss crime and disorder issues. The Fire Service and Trading Standards will also be present with displays.
2) Amey removing graffiti from the underpass.
3) Council community protection team running a litter pick in the park with pupils from St Peter's primary school.

Kington (3rd November)
1) Static display in the foyer of the town museum by the local policing team, with displays on anti-social behaviour (ASB), underage drinking and anti-social driving.
2) A joint evening operation with a team from VOSA to target anti-social driving. Leominster (6th November) Static display in the market in Corn Square, themed around ASB and the Lighten Up campaign. A distraction burglary DVD will also be on view, commissioned by Herefordshire Police and using real local victims, with advice on how to prevent it.

Ledbury (6th November)
1) The distraction burglary DVD to be shown to residents of St Katherine's in the town.
2) Static display in the Market House with Trading Standards and the Crime Prevention Officer, whilst the local policing team will be promoting the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch and the Nominated Neighbour Scheme (see notes to newsdesks below).
3) West Mercia Police's Knock Knock leaflet (against distraction burglaries) to be distributed to 4,000 households in the town and environs.

Peterchurch (2nd November)
Static display in the village of Clifford (and in other villages in the Golden Valley area throughout the week) concentrating on the local PACT priorities of speeding vehicles and anti-social driving. Hereford High Town (4th November) Local policing team and Trading Standards marquee covering subjects such as general ASB as well as seasonal disorder caused by firework and egg-throwing.

Hereford South Wye (4th November)
The Belmont local policing team will be visiting the Hereford Academy in the afternoon to discuss with pupils seasonal issues such as fireworks and bonfires in open spaces.

Hereford Bishops Meadows (6th, 7th and 8th November)
The Hinton & St Martins local policing team will be engaging with those people who use the Meadows either for leisure or to walk through en route to elsewhere, with an emphasis on anti-social behaviour and reassurance.

Hereford Racecourse (7th November)
A police presence at this popular event to give advice on firework safety and information on how the police are tackling crime and disorder with our partners.

If you would like to know more, please come along to one the planned events in your area. .


GOOD SAMARITAN WITNESS SOUGHT

Police in Hereford are appealing for a Good Samaritan to come forward who may be unaware that he is a witness to a serious assault on a woman. The incident happened on a footpath by the subway under the new bridge near the Asda supermarket, known locally as Dry Bridge Walk, at around or shortly after midnight on 20th / 21st October.

The woman was walking home along the path when she was approached by what appears to be a drunken male who tried to get her to drink alcohol and assaulted her. During the struggle, a white male appeared and punched the assailant, freeing the victim who then ran home without stopping. Police are anxious to trace the man who came to the woman's aid and urge him to contact police at the earliest opportunity to assist with the enquiry. The witness and anyone else with information should contact DC Clare Hagan from Hereford CID on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF SERVICES FOR DIABETICS IN HEREFORDSHIRE

If you suffer from diabetes, or know someone who does and you are interested in diabetes services for adults in Herefordshire, NHS Herefordshire would like to hear from you. A series of informal meetings are being held across the county next week in a bid to help improve the way services are being developed for the future.

Paul Edwards, Associate Director of Integrated Commissioning for NHS Herefordshire said, 'We want to hear from those who have accessed the diabetes service in Herefordshire and listen to their real life experiences, both good and bad. They are the people who can really help to inform the way we shape the service for the future.'

The meetings are being held as follows: Wednesday, 4th November, WRVS Centre, Hereford, Thursday, 5th November, Talbot Hotel, Leominster and Monday, 9th November, Ross Community Hospital. All the meetings will start at 6.30pm prompt, with registration and refreshments available from 6pm.

If you are interested in attending, please confirm your attendance by calling Jacinta Meighan-Davies on 01432 383767 or emailing jacinta.meighan-davies@herefordpct.nhs.uk


BRAVE JOSIE IS PRIDE OF HEREFORDSHIRE 2009

Josie Pearson, from Whitney-on-Wye, has been named overall winner of the 2009 Pride of Herefordshire awards for her courage at readapting to life in a wheelchair after a car accident left her with serious injuries. After nine months in hospital, Josie, now 22, completed her studies at Hereford Sixth Form College and gained a place at the University of Wales in Cardiff where she initially studied neuroscience.

While at Cardiff, Josie also learned to play wheelchair rugby and in 2008 was part of England's wheelchair rugby team in the Beijing Paralympics, narrowly missing a medal when the team came fourth. She has just returned from the European rugby games last week where the team reached the semi-finals and has now been selected for the World Championships being held in Vancouver next year. Josie, who is tetraplegic, was nominated by Councillor Brian Wilcox and won the award for Courage as well as taking the overall title. She said, 'I was thrilled to get both of the awards and I had a fantastic evening.' Speakers at the awards evening were Brummie Stokes and Tony Larkin, head coach of the GB blind football team. Hereford is to host the World Blind Football Championships in 2010.

Other winners of Pride of Herefordshire awards were:

Entrepreneur: Cheryl Bishop, aged 23, from Hereford who runs her own jewellery business in the Butter Market. She was nominated by Damien Evans.
Learner: Dane Philips of Bosbury who has used education and training to turn his life around and re-enter the job market. He was nominated by Patricia Hayes of CVS Training.
Health champion: Joint winners Linda Gough, Ann Stokes and Brenda Bayliss, who are all tutors at the county's Expert Patients Programme (EPP) which supports people with long-term health conditions. They were nominated by EPP co-ordinator Sue Tobey.
Young Carer: Freya Russell Turner, 7, from Ledbury Road, Hereford, who is one of the main carers for her housebound mum and also looks after her sister Chloe and brother George. She was nominated by mum Hayley.
Environmental Champion: Jane Denny of Stanhope Street, Hereford, who is Eco-school co-ordinator at Weobley School which was the second school in the county to receive the coveted Green Flag award. She was nominated by Jamie Elliott and Antonia Fitch.
Adult carer: Anita Mills from Leominster who cares for her epileptic and disabled brother. She was nominated by her sister Sandra Lewis.
Community group (less than 10 members): Dormington and Mordiford Youth Club, a group of teenage boys who are working hard to set up a youth club. They were nominated by Councillor Josie Pemberton.
Community group (more than 10 members): Hospice Angels, a unique group of motorbike riding 'angels' who have raised £83,000 in six years for St Michael's Hospice. They were nominated by Councillor Chris Chappell, Martin Meredith and Sharon Powell.


Josie receives her overall winner's award from Gerard Williams, Development Director of ESG Herefordshire.

All of the winners of Pride of Herefordshire 2009 Awards.

OPERATION PROTECT 2 AND LIGHTEN UP CAMPAIGN

Last week saw five days of action across the West Mercia Police area with the combining of two of its successful crime initiatives. Operation Protect, a dedicated anti-burglary action week, was merged with the Force's annual Lighten Up campaign to ensure that the risks to residents and their property are kept at low levels as police target burglars and offer advice to homeowners on how to keep their houses secure with the onset of the dark winter nights.

In Herefordshire n Tuesday, 20th October, a day of action was undertaken and travelling criminals were targeted across the county by teams of officers using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras, which can tell which vehicles are used in crime or have no documents. Police across the county also handed out automatic light switches to previous victims of domestic burglary to further reduce the risk of re-victimisation and local policing teams engaged in leaflet drops within their communities to further spread the message that 'Herefordshire is a safe place and together we aim to keep it that way'. Many people will have also noticed the large advertising van that drove around the county with messages about the county's low crime levels and the Lighten Up campaign.

Keeping a light on when you are out at night is a good way of deterring potential burglars. Almost all burglars will not break in to a house if they think someone is in there, so leaving a light on can make them shy away. But don't leave the light on just in the hall, most people don't spend their evenings watching TV in the hall, leave a living room or bedroom light on.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, Head of Territorial Operations for Herefordshire Division said, 'We have some of the lowest burglary rates in the UK, less than one a day across the whole county. It's important we don't lose sight of that perspective but at the same time acknowledge that we must not let complacency set in. Together, we must ensure we keep on top of things and do all we reasonably can to keep burglaries low and catch or deter those who would commit them.'

If anyone would like a Safe and Secure Home Pack, which gives an array of ideas on how to improve the security of your home, please contact your local policing team or the Public Service Desk at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000.


HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF SERVICES FOR DIABETICS IN HEREFORDSHIRE

If you suffer from diabetes, or know someone who does and you are interested in diabetes services for adults in Herefordshire, NHS Herefordshire would like to hear from you. A series of informal meetings are being held across the county next week in a bid to help improve the way services are being developed for the future.

Paul Edwards, Associate Director of Integrated Commissioning for NHS Herefordshire said, 'We want to hear from those who have accessed the diabetes service in Herefordshire and listen to their real life experiences, both good and bad. They are the people who can really help to inform the way we shape the service for the future.'

The meetings are being held as follows: Wednesday, 4th November, WRVS Centre, Hereford, Thursday, 5th November, Talbot Hotel, Leominster and Monday, 9th November, Ross Community Hospital. All the meetings will start at 6.30pm prompt, with registration and refreshments available from 6pm.

If you are interested in attending, please confirm your attendance by calling Jacinta Meighan-Davies on 01432 383767 or emailing jacinta.meighan-davies@herefordpct.nhs.uk


HEARING ON NEW HEALTH CENTRE PLANNING APPLICATION DEFERRED

The Planning Committee of Herefordshire Council have agreed to defer consideration of a planning application from NHS Herefordshire for a new £1.5million walk-in health centre within the grounds of the Stonebow Unit, close to the county hospital in Hereford. The council's health scrutiny committee had previously requested the deferment, which was agreed to by NHS Herefordshire, to allow positive talks to continue on proposals to locate the health centre at another site, next to the county hospital's accident and emergency department.

Talks between the primary care trust and the hospital were restarted after £1.5 million in government money had been secured to build a state of the art, fully equipped health centre. The new centre is set to significantly improve access to GP services in the city, enabling local people to walk in without an appointment at any time between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, to suit their busy lifestyles. The primary care trust's consultation programme found strong public support for the walk-in health centre. Talks between the primary care trust and the hospital are progressing strongly and if successful, will supersede the planning application to place the centre within one third of the grounds of the Stonebow Unit.

In the meantime, NHS Herefordshire is set to provide interim walk-in, GP services in Hereford before Christmas. It is to open a temporary service at the ASDA Health Centre in Hereford, which will enable local people to walk in, without an appointment, or pre-book an appointment at any time between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, including over the Christmas holiday. Patients will be able to use the new services whilst remaining registered with their own GP and it is anticipated that it will reduce the high workload of Hereford County Hospital's accident and emergency department.

A permanent, modern GP-led, walk in health centre, which is likely to be incorporated with the county hospital's accident and emergency department, will replace the temporary service at ASDA when the new facility is completed in the summer of next year.


CLEAR STEER GIVEN TO YOUNG DRIVERS WHEN BUYING THEIR FIRST CAR

Young drivers across Herefordshire have been getting a clear steer when it comes to buying their first car. Consumer Direct and Herefordshire Trading Standards launched the brand new 'Your Guide to buying Your First Car' booklet aimed at helping young consumers through the maze of issues they often face when making the decision to buy their first car. Hundreds of students at Hereford College received a copy of the booklet last week along with information from the Driving Standards Agency on driving safely.

Consumer Direct has received over 100 calls between January and September 2009 relating to the purchase of second hand cars, costing consumers in Herefordshire an estimated £405, 000 – an average spend of £3931.66 per consumer. Car related complaints have figured in the Consumer Directs top 10 complaints about goods and services both regionally and nationally for the last 3 years.

Gary Griffiths, Consumer Direct West Midlands Centre Manager said, 'Buying your first car, whether it is new or used is often an exciting time for people, but can also be confusing and expensive. We want new drivers to feel confident that they know what to look for when buying a car so this guide provides people with a useful checklist, top tips and much more, all in one place. We want to work with local business to provide consumers with clear advice on their rights, crack down on unscrupulous traders selling un-roadworthy cars and help local residents in Herefordshire make the right choices when choosing which car to buy.

'Our most common complaints related to cars cover a number of areas, including issues with servicing, warranties, finance agreements and cars developing faults shortly after being purchased. By offering people clear, practical consumer advice Consumer Direct and Herefordshire Trading Standards will be working with local colleges, schools and a range of key organizations to raise awareness of the key issues'

'Your Guide to… Buying Your First Car' has been produced by Consumer Direct and Central England Trading Standards Authorities (CEnTSA) and can be downloaded from the 'News' pages at www.centsa.org.uk or contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 for further information and advice on your rights.


Herefordshire College students with a copy of 'Your Guide to . . .Buying Your First Car.'

LIGHTEN UP ON YOUR BIKE

Last week saw West Mercia Police run their successful 'Lighten Up' campaign, designed to encourage people to use lighting more effectively to reduce burglaries. Now Police are advising you to 'Lighten Up' to keep yourself safe as you ride your bikes. The clocks were turned back last week, so it gets dark at an earlier hour, making it essential to ensure you are displaying lights when riding a bike after dusk.

It can be difficult to see cyclists during daylight hours as their silhouette is slimmer than a motor vehicle. At night they are harder to see, especially without proper lights. Bob Haynes, Herefordshire Division's Traffic Management Advisor, said, 'West Mercia Police is urging all cyclists to use front and rear lights when cycling at night to reduce the potential for collisions and near misses. If a car driver cannot see an unlit cyclist, it's not the car driver who is going to get hurt and having no lights at night to cycle on the road does not mean that it's appropriate to cycle on the pavement. The pavement is for pedestrians; the carriageway is for cars and cycles. To cycle on a pavement at night can result in injury to both pedestrians and cyclist if a collision occurs.'

For greater cycle safety during the winter months, Lighten Up and take the following advice:

· Always cycle on the road, never on the pavement
· Wear a reflective / fluorescent jacket for added protection and visibility
· Use front AND rear lights during the hours of darkness
· If you cycle to work in the light, take lights with you if it will be dark when you go home
· If you have no lights at night, walk!


USE FIREWORKS SAFELY AND CONSIDERATELY

The Safer Herefordshire Partnership is urging anyone using fireworks to be aware of the dangers of firework misuse and to follow the firework code. Not everyone enjoys fireworks in the same way and it is timely to remember that irresponsible use of fireworks can pose a danger to people and property. Fireworks can scare people, especially the elderly and small children, and can frighten animals which should be kept indoors, if at all possible.

Councillor John Jarvis said,'We want people to enjoy fireworks but to ensure they keep themselves and any vulnerable people safe by following simple rules and then we can all enjoy this time of year. We would also urge people to be careful when planning bonfires and not to put materials on them that will not burn or could create toxic fumes.'

Top tips for a safe fireworks night are:

1) Only buy fireworks that meet the British Standard - BS 7114
2) Only allow adults to light or hold fireworks
3) Never return to a lit firework, even if it looks like it has done out
4) Stand well back when watching fireworks
5) Keep pets indoors
6) Never give sparklers to children who are under five years old and make sure they put them out in buckets of water.

It is an offence under the Explosives Act for anyone to throw or set off fireworks in a public place, and the police can issue on the spot fines of up to £5,000. In addition the Fireworks Regulations 2004 make it an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place. Anyone planning to use fireworks should also remember the curfew times, set by the Government, which prevents firework use between 11pm and 7am, and anyone who breaches this could be liable to a £5,000 fine.

Safer Herefordshire Partnership is made up of local agencies working together to make Herefordshire an even safer place to live and visit. Details may be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/community_and_living/1306.asp Further information on the firework code can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/fireworks


PLANS FOR ST. KATHERINE'S DEVELOPMENT NEAR COMPLETION

Herefordshire Council's plans for the redevelopment of the St Katherine's area in Ledbury, which include a new library and customer services building are nearing completion. Staff who will run the new services were consulted about the detailed plans in early September and members of the public also had a chance to have their say during the very well attended Heritage Open Weekend earlier this month. During the open weekend, some 257 members of the public came on tours of the Master's House, met the architects Architype, talked to the Barber Surgeon and viewed the Almshouses gardens.

Following these consultations, the design of the external lobby has been changed so it is integral with the building and the position of the new building will be closer to The Master's House, allowing for an extra line of parking behind the building. The next stage is to seek planning permission and the project is on track to start construction in early summer 2010. It will take a year to 18 months to build the new complex. Copies of the latest plans are on display in Ledbury Library and there are three files of background information in the Tourist Information Centre, library and Info offices, for the public to read. The council is also reaching a decision about the planned refreshment area and will be consulting with CVA about the possibility of a volunteer aided refreshment area for some of the opening hours but not a fully operating café.

Conservation architects Butler and Hegarty have nearly completed their survey of the Master's House, including a thermographic study that dramatically highlights the timber framing currently hidden beneath the white render on the wall at the front of the building and the full frame around the window of the meeting room. The architects have constructed a model of the Master's House with all elements of the timber frame, showing that it really is a building within a building.

Herefordshire Council is now looking in some detail at how services can be fitted into the Master's House and in what stage of the project. Concerns by traders about the loss of parking spaces are also being addressed. Options presented by traders are being evaluated to see whether they are possible and what the costs will be. A survey of the car parks in Ledbury has also been carried out to determine the full extent of existing spaces and Herefordshire Council will also look at finding further areas of car parking to help visitors and traders during the period when building work is carried out.


SARAH CARR CALLS ON COUNCIL TO SIGN UP TO 10:10 CLIMATE CHANGE

Sarah Carr addressing the 350 Climate Change debate on Saturday.

Speaking at the 350 climate change debate at Hereford’s Town Hall on Saturday, 24th October, Sarah Carr, the would-be next Liberal Democrat MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire has called on Herefordshire Council to sign up to the 10:10 campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by the end of 2010. Many organizations and individuals, including Sarah have already signed up to the 10:10 campaign of their own accord, as have the NHS and a number of other councils.

Commenting, Sarah said, 'In December, World leaders will meet in Copenhagen to seek a global agreement to address the worsening climate crisis. The UK must take a leading role in the debate and in securing agreement. The time is needed for bold, not timid actions on climate change and our local council can play their part. My Liberal Democrat colleagues have also called on Parliament and the Government to sign up to the 10:10 campaign to focus on what can be done now.'

In the 350 debate in Hereford, Sarah also spoke passionately about the practical actions that should be taken by the government now to avert climate change and improve people’s lives. The actions, which would also create thousands of ‘green jobs’ included insulating every school and hospital within 5 years, purchasing hundreds of new trains and investing in rail infrastructure, building 40,000 extra zero-carbon social homes, rolling out ‘smart meters’ and supporting renewable energy production.



MAN ASSAULTED IN DUSK NIGHT CLUB AND OTHER POLICE MATTERS

Hereford Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a male was assaulted on the dance floor in a city centre night club in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

The 18-year old was on the dance floor of the Dusk night club in Commercial Road, Hereford at around 1.30am on Saturday, 24th October when an unknown person lashed out and punched him at least twice. The victim remembers nothing more until he regained consciousness in the toilets some time later as staff were clearing up. He suffered a chipped right tooth and a black eye in the assault.

Police are keen to speak with anyone who was in the night club at the time who saw the incident or who may have information that will assist the enquiry. Anyone with information should contact PC Becky Colcombe at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Police are also appealing for information after an elderly man was assaulted as he walked near a public house on Aylestone Hill. The incident happened shortly after midnight on the morning of Saturday 24th October as the 60-year old was walking near the Swan public house toward the bottom of the hill. The victim was assaulted from behind by an unknown assailant, spun around and pushed into a hedge. As he tried to get up, he was punched in the face. His attacker did not speak or attempt to steal anything from him and the assault was unprovoked and apparently motiveless. The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction. As a result of the assault, the victim sustained facial grazing/bruising, a possible broken nose with headache and pain in shoulders and back.

The suspect is simply described as being of large build, taller than 5'10" and wearing a dark-coloured coat. Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have information about it. Anyone with information should contact PC Pam Epton at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


COUNCIL APPROVES ESG SCHEME TO END FLOOD MISERY

A new flood alleviation scheme that will protect 115 homes and businesses in Hereford was given full approval by Herefordshire Council's planning committee on 23rd October. Proposed by ESG Herefordshire, the scheme is an essential part of the plans to improve the infrastructure in the city, making possible the new leisure attractions, jobs, homes and shops that will revitalize Hereford. The scheme will save nearly £3 million a year in repairing damage to property, and many parts of the city will see an end to flooding misery, including the A49 at Edgar Street, the Merton Meadow car park and the county hospital car park.

Members of the planning committee heard that many areas currently used to annual flooding would see their risk of flooding transformed to 'once in a thousand years'. The scheme will particularly benefit residents around Millbrook Street, Nolan Road and Edgar Street. A two-metre diameter underground culvert, following the natural contours of the landscape, will divert water from the Yazor Brook at Credenhill to the River Wye, when water levels reach a trigger point. The water will travel through the mile-long culvert before joining the River Wye south east of Old Weir Farm. Grills at both ends will prevent the scheme becoming blocked, Maintenance manholes will be included and the flow of water through the culvert will be digitally monitored.

Extensive research into historical water flows and depths was undertaken and several 'worst case scenarios' were analyzed using computer modelling. Planners demonstrated, using detailed maps of Hereford, how high flood risk areas will move into 'one in a hundred year', and 'one in a thousand year' risk ratings once the work is complete. As part of the consultation for the scheme, the Environment Agency were generally supportive and stated that the 'scheme aims to deliver not only a flood risk solution for the ESG site but also offers flood risk protection benefits for the wider community of Hereford.'

Lessons were also learned from the council's successful flood alleviation scheme on Hereford's south side of the River Wye and the new flood scheme at Ross-on-Wye. Advantage West Midlands also supported the scheme. As part of the ESG development, the agency is making a major investment into the area in partnership with Herefordshire Council. Agricultural land and scattered properties up stream of the flood alleviation scheme will also benefit. Members of the committee voted in favour of the application, subject to planning officers receiving no further objections to the amended plans.

Speaking after the planning decision, chief executive of ESG Herefordshire, Jonathan Bretherton, said, 'I know from talking to a lot of local people that the threat of flooding is a major worry to them, and this news will provide welcome peace of mind for many households in the city, as well as underpinning the proposals to revitalize Hereford.'


RESIDENTS INVITED TO VIEW PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF WIDEMARSH ST.

Herefordshire Council is running a special event on Monday, 2nd November, giving residents another opportunity to view plans for the refurbishment of Widemarsh Street in Hereford.

The event is being held at Saxty's from 2pm until 5.30pm where detailed plans of the scheme, including the type of surface being used for the carriageway and pavement areas, street furniture and tree planting arrangements will be on display. There is also the opportunity to see how traffic movements will be managed during the 40-week construction period to ensure minimum disruption to traders, residents and shoppers. Local traders and residents together with other key stakeholders are being invited to a separate meeting to discuss the detailed plans. It is planned to start the refurbishment work in late January.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'This scheme will make a major improvement to this street which will become a major link to the proposed Edgar Street Grid development. We want the street to be as welcoming as possible to encourage more shoppers and tourists to visit Hereford.

I would urge as many people as possible to attend this exhibition to see what is being planned and I would also like to assure traders and residents that we will keep disruption to a minimum during the construction period.'

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