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20th January 2010 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
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ROSS AVIATION HISTORY EXHIBITION AT HERITAGE CENTRE

A small but interesting exhibition is currently taking place at Ross Heritage Centre, where visitors can learn of the beginnings of aviation in Ross-on-Wye and the endeavours of the Butcher family to build flying machines and push them through the streets on a bicycle to near Kern Bridge, where they tested their flying capabilities.


Aviation History at the Heritage Centre.

MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED AFTER COLLISION ON A4103 AT FROMES HILL

Herefordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a road traffic collision on the busy Hereford to Worcester road which left one man with serious abdominal injuries.

The incident occurred at 12.33pm on Friday, 15th January in thick fog on the A4103 Fromes Hill at the junction with the Halmonds Frome road when a Honda Concerto was in collision with a Nissan Terrano. All the emergency services attended the scene and fire-fighters had to cut the roof from the Honda to release the occupants.

The elderly driver of the Honda sustained serious abdominal injuries and was taken to Hereford County Hospital where he remains in a stable condition. An elderly woman passenger in the car received minor injuries and shock and was treated at the same hospital. The driver and passenger of the Nissan both suffered minor injuries and shock but were treated by medical staff at the scene and did not go to hospital. The road was closed for several hours to safeguard the scene in the fog and allow police collision investigators to do their work before the vehicles were removed.

Police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the accident or who saw either vehicle immediately before the collision. Anyone with information should contact PC Jonathan Lynes from the Roads Policing Team at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000.


HEREFORDSHIRE'S YOUNG POET LAUREATE IMMORTALISES THE SNOW

Herefordshire's young poet laureate Sapphire de Sousa Stayton has written a poem to mark the snowy weather conditions that have gripped the county. Sapphire, who won the Poet Laureate for Herefordshire competition run by the council's libraries service in June 2009, has been using her time off school constructively to pen a poem about her own experience of the snowy weather.

Smelling Snow

A fragment of a second,
A minute less than time,
It was gone before I realised
That it was there and mine.

It was faster than the speed of light,
As calming as the sea,
As confusing as a Labyrinth
Of which you can't get free.

It had the wonder of a waterfall,
The intensity of the sun,
The freeness of a child
In the meadow having fun.

It brought me all my memories
Of winters, Christmases past.
Hanging out the stockings,
Building snowmen in the park.

On that calm day in October,
When the sun was slipping low,
That moment in early autumn,
That's when I smelt the snow.


PENSIONERS LOSING OUT ON COLD WEATHER PAYMENTS SAYS SARAH

Sarah Carr, Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, has expressed concern that up to 1.7m pensioners will miss out on Cold Weather Payments triggered by the recent weather, equating to a staggering 2,640 people across Hereford and South Herefordshire according to analysis of Government figures by the Liberal Democrats.

Sarah said, 'It is outrageous that so many pensioners will miss out on an estimated 42.5m of fuel payments. With fuel prices higher than ever, Cold Weather Payments are vitally important for elderly people already struggling on a meagre pension. The system is far too complicated, and makes it even harder for people to access the help they so desperately need. The Government should be making every effort to identify pensioners who are missing out and get them this extra cash.

In Hereford and South Herefordshire, it is very concerning that up to 50% of eligible pensioners are not receiving the Cold Weather Payment, a staggering 2,640 people.'


JESSE WELCOMES PETER LUFF MP TO HEREFORD

Local campaigner and Conservative candidate Jesse Norman welcomed a key Westminster figure to Herefordshire last week. Peter Luff MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Business Select Committee, spoke to local business people at a breakfast at Saxty's in Hereford. Mr Luff, recently described by The Times as 'fiercely independent', has the job of holding to account the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, led by Lord Mandelson.

In a wide-ranging talk, Mr Luff highlighted the importance of helping small and medium-sized businesses to grow even in the current difficult economic context. It was vital to reduce the burden of taxation and regulation over time, and to recognize the value of manufacturing, given that Britain remains the 6th largest manufacturer in the world. But successful entrepreneurship required high skills, and so flourishing schools, colleges and universities, he said. And it involved a measure of risk. It was absurd and counterproductive for any government to think it could somehow abolish risk, and the result was throttling small businesses with new regulations.

Commenting afterwards, Jesse said, 'It is great to have Peter Luff in Hereford, given his influence and insights into economic policy making. Among other things, his select committee is considering the current Digital Britain report on broadband speed. In 2008 I published a consultation paper on the potential for new wireless broadband services in the county, and I have strongly pressed now for the committee to come out in favour of wider access to decent broadband, rather than the Government's current approach which ignores rural areas and focuses on large cities.

Present policy on broadband has failed disastrously in Herefordshire, where the service is poor in Hereford city and often non-existent in rural areas. Proper broadband access is essential for local business and the local economy. With more businesses having gone bankrupt during this recession than in any previous downturn, the Conservatives have also announced new policies to encourage enterprise and make it easier to start new businesses.'


Jesse Norman with Peter Luff MP.

CONCERT AT CREMATORIUM RAISES OVER £1,000 FOR CHARITY

A concert held at Herefordshire Council's new crematorium chapel raised more than 1,000 for charity. The concert, given by the Hereford Police Male Choir, raised 994 for the mayor of Hereford's charities, the Princess Trust and Noah's Ark Trust and 200 for the Police Choir.

John Gibbon, Bereavement Services Manager said, 'The chapel at the new crematorium seats 120 people and proved to be an excellent venue for what turned out to be a very successful and enjoyable evening and we are now planning to hold similar events. Everyone who attended, including Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Sylvia Daniels, thoroughly enjoyed the concert and I would like to thank people for their support on the evening.

Thanks must also go to Tesco for sponsoring the catering and to local funeral directors and the council's partner Amey for providing raffle prizes.'


KYRLE STREET CAR PARK RETURNS TO PRIVATE MANAGEMENT

After more than two years of managing the Kyrle Street car park in Hereford on behalf of the landowner, Herefordshire Council has relinquished the day-to-day operation of the car park. As from Monday, 1st February, the car park will be independently managed by the landowner and Herefordshire Council will have no jurisdiction over it.

However, Kyrle Street remains a public pay and display car park with all matters relating to enforcement and everyday management now being the sole responsibility of the owner. As this is no longer a council run car park, the owner has decided that there will be no concessionary parking allowed and motorists using the car park are advised to look at the new notices and tariff boards installed by the owner when parking there.


POLICE APPEAL FOR RETURN OF STOLEN NECKLACE

Police in Hereford have issued this photograph of an unusual necklace that was stolen from a property in Dormington in the hope that somebody may be able to help them to recover it and return it to its rightful owner.

The necklace was taken from a house in Dormington, near Hereford, between the end of November 2009 and Christmas Day, by somebody who had lawful access to the house rather than in a burglary.

The necklace, which is of considerable monetary value, comprises a silver chain through an 18ct white gold mount, in which is set eight green sapphires.

If anybody knows the current whereabouts of the necklace or has been or is offered the item, they are urged to contact PC Richard Barradale-Smith at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 without delay or, alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.


ROSS RESIDENTS TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN RESHAPING HEREFORDSHIRE

Hundreds of Ross-on-Wye residents are expected to influence plans for how the market town will benefit from better paid jobs, more affordable homes, improved transport links and stronger public services. Herefordshire Council's important Shaping Our Place 2026 consultation rolls into Ross on Tuesday, 2nd February to display a series of possible options for building communities and enterprises over the next 15 years. The blueprint will affect everyone who lives and works in the town.

'The council wants to work with Ross people to create a new land of opportunity, right here in Herefordshire,' said Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing. 'As the only sizeable settlement in the county with direct links to the motorway network, Ross is an important gateway for inward investment and tourism. We have a great opportunity to boost enterprise and build our community to ensure we have the critical mass to safeguard public services, jobs and affordable homes for future generations. If we do not take this opportunity now, many of our brightest young people will continue to move out of the county for better prospects elsewhere.'

The Shaping Our Place 2026 consultation documents will be available at the Ross road show, which will take place from 10am until 1pm at Ross Market Place They can also be picked up at any time from the library or info centre in Ross, or downloaded from the council's website: www.herefordshire.gov.uk Around 1,000 new homes could be provided in Ross over the next 15 years and two options are suggested, in the Northeast and / or south of the town, next to the A40. The new Model Farm business park at Ross is also set to attract high quality, knowledge based and creative industries and high-tech businesses, bringing exciting new employment prospects.

The consultation document says that Ross retailers are promoting strongly their attractive historic town centre but a growing community would encourage businesses to revive empty shops. The consultation is driven by the need to grow the county. Herefordshire has below average wage levels for the region but above average house prices. There are 5,000 people on the county's housing waiting list and demand is high for homes that are decent and affordable.

Herefordshire is recognized as providing a good education. But without a university, or sufficient higher education to build skills and qualifications, or good career prospects, the council knows young people are more likely to find leave the county, never to return. The county also needs more enterprises, offering high quality jobs. More space for employment land has to be found. Growth in the county will provide stronger markets for local firms to thrive and prosper - and safeguard local essential public services.

Several villages could see development designed to increase affordable housing and sustain essential services, including schools and new shops, along with rural transport improvements. The options are also to promote extended employment land and more enterprise centres to encourage the creation of new jobs, particularly creative industries and environmental technologies to boost the economic viability of villages.

'Herefordshire Council needs Ross to share its views now in what will be one of the most important consultations ever to take place in the county,' added Councillor Jarvis. 'It really is up to local people to tell us what they think and help grow the right future for the county and the market towns.'

The council is holding several exhibitions and road shows across the county in the coming weeks, as well as workshops in schools and colleges. People's views will be analysed and proposed policies developed and presented back to cabinet later in 2010 and publicized, before being submitted to the Secretary of State, who will arrange for a public examination and inspector's report with final adoption anticipated in 2011. It will provide a chance for everyone to help finalize the Local Development Framework, which will be the blueprint for planning and developing Herefordshire for the future.

In parallel, the council is also running a consultation on the Local Transport Plan, which will be adopted by April 2011 and will drive the county's transport strategy for the next 15 years. The review of the transport strategy is intended to align transport policy with the wider needs of the county and will help co-ordinate support for growth. The Local Transport Plan consultation enables local people to let the council know what their priorities for transport are for the county, whether it is greater public transport investment, more cycle routes, better highway maintenance or further road safety improvements.

So far, the following public events have been arranged:

Tuesday, 26th January at the Town Hall, Hereford from 10am to 1pm
Tuesday, 2nd February at Ross Market Place from 10am to 1pm
Wednesday, 3rd February at Leominster Corn Square from 10am to 1pm
Thursday, 4th February at Evans Easyspace, Rotherwas, starting at 11am
Tuesday, 9th February at Mill Street Street Car Park, Kington from 10am to 1pm
Thursday, 11th February at Tenbury Road Car Park, Bromyard from 10am to 1pm
Saturday, 13th February at Hereford High Town from 10am to 3pm
Tuesday, 23rd February at St. Katherine Street Car Park, Ledbury from 10am to 1pm
Tuesday, 23rd February an evening event will take place at Hereford's Aylestone School from 6pm until 8pm
Wednesday, 24th February a Road show will take place at Ewyas Harold Memorial Hall Car Park from 10am until 1pm.


HOUSE BURGLED IN THREE ELMS ROAD

Hereford Police are appealing for information after ornaments and optical equipment were stolen during a burglary in Three Elms Road, Hereford. The burglary occurred on Saturday, 16th January between 5.20pm and 7.20pm, whilst the owner of the property was at church.

Thieves broke into the property via the ground floor dining room window and stole, amongst other things, two silver cups, a small metal horse, an ornament of a swan with open wings, a telescope, Zeiss armoured binoculars and a Royal Worcester chalice-type dish.

House burglaries are comparatively rare in Herefordshire, averaging less than one per day across the whole county. Detectives investigating such crimes are determined to keep it that way.

Police are anxious to hear from anybody who may have seen unusual activity or suspicious persons or callers in the Three Elms area that afternoon or evening. They would also like to hear from anyone who is offered the property or who may know of its current whereabouts. Anybody with any information that can help should contact PC Joanna Williams from Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


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