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13th January 2010 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
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A COAL-ITION BETWEEN AGE CONCERN AND CAN DO CREW HELPS MARGARET

Margaret Ashby of Lea Villa Park in Lea just outside Ross-on-Wye had been unable to obtain coal to keep her mobile home warm because of the recent icy conditions. Margaret called Age Concern Ross-on-Wye to ask for help they referred her to the Can Do Crew, a not-for-profit business run by the charity EnviroAbility. The two organizations have been co-operating with each other for many years and when Crew members, David Andrews and James Murphy heard of Margaret's plight, they immediately went to her rescue. David, who is Herefordshire Young Volunteer of the Year 2009 and James collected coal from a local supplier and delivered it to Margaret that day.

Dennis Humble of EnviroAbility said, 'We are really proud of our colleagues who are willing to undertake work that is above and beyond their remit.' Upon their return to HQ, both David and James commented that Margaret was so nice and her quality of thank you made them feel really good. In the office the pair are being ribbed and referred to as 'The Can Do rescue squad!'

The Can Do Crew are still available to do jobs around the house and garden. If you would like further information, please visit www.candocrew.org.uk or call and leave a message for Mike 'Estimate,' their volunteer who pops out to discuss jobs with people on 01989 763388.


Can Do Crew worker, David Andrews hands one of the bags of coal to Margaret.

WASTE COLLECTIONS RESUMED IN HEREFORDSHIRE

Herefordshire residents will be pleased to learn that waste collections across the county have now been resumed. The council apologizes for the disruption and crews will be making every effort to collect all refuse and recycling, however, they are still hampered by difficult icy conditions on many minor roads. Residents are asked that if they do not have their refuse or recycling collected to take it back in and put it out on their next collection day.

In the face of the worst cold spell for 30 years, the council is making the decision whether to send out the crews on a day-by-day basis. Rotherwas, Leominster and Bromyard household waste sites have now reopened. The council's contractors will collect recycling material, over and above that in the authorized bins and sacks, for the next round of collections, which will take place when refuse collection vehicles are out again. This means that residents can put out excess recycling in their old purple and clear sacks or in any other sacks, so long as they are clearly labelled up as 'recycling.'

Residents are advised to tune in to their local radio stations or visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk to find out the latest information.


POLICE SEEK ASSAULTED DRIVER OF 4 X 4

Hereford Police are appealing for the driver of a 4x4 who was assaulted in Whitecross Road recently to come forward to help them with their enquiries.

The incident happened at approximately 8pm on Friday, 8th January, when two men were seen by an off-duty police officer from Worcester in Whitecross Road, Hereford at the junction of Ryeland Street, arguing with the driver of a dark-coloured 4x4 vehicle, possibly a BMW. The driver was grabbed by the throat and punched a couple of times. The officer went to intervene and was assaulted by the two men before they made off.

Two men were later arrested in a nearby pub and have since been charged with offences of disorder and assault on the officer. Police are anxious to trace the driver who was assaulted by the two men and ask him to contact PC Jennifer Richards at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 as soon as possible.


JESSE RUNS WINTER WORK EXPERIENCE WEEK FOR YOUNG VOLUNTEERS

Last week's weather conditions did not stop a week of work experience for young local people that was organized by Jesse Norman, the local Conservative parliamentary candidate. In all, eight young people, many of them studying politics or economics, were involved in the pilot programme. They came from across Herefordshire, including the town of Ross-on-Wye, Longtown, Orcop, Leominster and Hereford City. The programme involved learning about social action, political debates, policy creation, the role of the media, and campaigning on the ground. It ended with a fascinating tour of the BBC Hereford and Worcester studios in Hereford.

One of the students, Aidan-Leigh Smout of Hereford 6th Form College said, 'I really enjoyed the various activities we took part in, which provided a fantastic insight into campaigning. This work experience was an opportunity which allowed myself and the other guys who took part to become involved in local politics and get to know the Conservative candidate for Hereford and South Hereford. After an exciting week, I would recommend anyone passionate about politics or the issues in their area to get involved!'

Commenting afterwards, Jesse said, 'There is so much distrust and lack of engagement with politics these days that I thought it was important to try to get out there and involve more young people, of whatever political affiliation. The only casualty of the weather was a litter pick we had planned, where the snow was so thick it covered everything, including the litter! With luck we will be able to run a larger programme next time, but maybe in the summer!'


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SARAH CALLS FOR 'FREELOADING MILLIONAIRES' TO PAY THEIR FULL SHARE

The Liberal Democrats led a debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 5th January in which they called for tax rules to be changed so that UK-based millionaires, who claim to live elsewhere, pay their full share. Lib Dem MP, Norman Baker led the debate attacking the government's record and called for toughness on all party donors and candidates who fail to pay taxes in this country.

The law still allows many individuals to avoid tax by claiming they are based elsewhere. Commenting on the parliamentary debate Sarah said, 'My Liberal Democrat colleagues in Parliament have raised the topical issue of non-doms, which is important in terms of both income to the Government and an ethical approach to politics. Why should hardworking people in Hereford, Ross and across South Herefordshire who do an honest day's work and pay their taxes in full, have to put up with a regime that sees freeloading millionaires swan around avoiding tax apparently with the help of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the Treasury?

Further discussion must be given to this matter, and not simply for reasons of income, fairness and equity but because of the integrity of the political process.'


HEREFORDSHIRE'S SCANDALS TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

John Challis, of Only Fools and Horses and Green Green Grass fame is to play a leading part in bringing back some of the most scandalous and surprising stories from Herefordshire's past. Herefordshire Council is holding a special evening next month when Mr Challis and other actors will perform dramatic readings of selected historic documents.

'Tales from the Archives' will be held in the Great Hall, Bishop's Palace, Hereford at 7pm on Saturday, 27th February and will feature crimes, miracles, tokens of love, drunkenness and witchcraft, all taken from the county's written heritage held in the council's archives service.

Chief Archivist, Elizabeth Semper O'Keefe said, 'We are delighted that Mr Challis and the other actors will be helping us celebrate the people of Herefordshire who are represented in our archives. It will be very exciting to hear them being given a voice and I'm sure it will make for a special evening.'

Tickets cost 8 and will include light refreshments. For further information and bookings, call Herefordshire Council's archive service on 01432 260750.

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