place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
NEW MINIBUSES FOR JKHS AND OTHER COUNTY SCHOOLS
new minibuses will help the county's secondary school students
get training in specialist subjects, thanks to Herefordshire
Council. To take part in the new young apprenticeship programmes
and diplomas, 14 to 19-year-old students need to be able
to travel from their base school for training in specialist
subjects at other educational establishments. The courses
include business, administration and finance, construction,
engineering, hospitality, social care and creative and media.
a successful proposal, the council secured £1 million in
government funding. Schools were asked how they wanted this
money to be spent and as a result, more than £200,000 was
used to buy seven 17-seater mini buses, which have been
converted for use by disabled people and wheelchair users.
The rest of the money will go towards equipment, ICT and
Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said,
'This really boosts the opportunity for young people in
our schools, and because we face significant transport problems
in getting students around our large county, the minibuses
are going to be a great help. This was a wise choice made
by the county's schools.'
students of John Kyrle High School with some of the minibuses.
COUNCIL BIDS FOR EMERGENCY GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO FIX POTHOLES
Herefordshire thaws after the big freeze, the full damage
to the county's road network is becoming clear. Herefordshire
Council estimates it will cost over £5.5 million to repair
the potholes created as the water froze, expanded and broke
up road surfaces. The council and its highways partner,
Amey Herefordshire, are currently scouring the county's
roads and lanes to repair hazardous potholes and keep roads
the meantime, council leader Roger Phillips has written
to the Department of Transport to request the government
to enact emergency funding. He makes the case that the road
network has 'suffered considerable damage as a direct result
of the recent and unusually severe weather, which has left
roads not meeting the high expectations of the public'.
He urges the government to act by making available extra
financial support to address the full impact of the damage
urgently. Several councils are expected to make similar
in previous years, Herefordshire continues to effectively
deliver winter gritting and snow clearance to keep the county's
primary routes open,' said Councillor Phillips. 'There is
great regret that there is never enough rock salt available
in the national supply system for the council to grit over
2,000 miles of minor and unclassified roads - the focus
always has to be on the A and B roads together with key
access roads, such as to the county hospital, that keep
the county open for business and emergency vehicles. However,
now we face another challenge to repair hazardous potholes
in the road network as quickly as possible - and although
there are contingencies in the council's budget, the financial
impact is out of all proportion to what could have been
expected during the winters Herefordshire is used to.'
10,000 tonnes of grit have been used on Herefordshire's
roads this winter so far, mostly during the first two weeks
of January. A typical recent winter would normally require
about 5,000 tonnes of grit for the entire season. If anyone
spots a pothole, they are asked to contact the council's
street care line on 01432 261800 or at email@example.com
JESSE HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF BROADBAND IN RURAL AREAS
campaigner and Conservative parliamentary candidate, Jesse
Norman saw what could be the future of broadband in Herefordshire
last week, when he visited the Allpay wireless broadband
pilot scheme in Kingstone. He toured the Allpay broadband
technical centre with their CEO Tony Killeen and tested
the system personally, before visiting the antenna site
located on the top of St Michael and All Angels Church.
new network offers up to 2 megabit broadband. Jesse launched
a major initiative to develop broadband access in Herefordshire
in May 2008, when he convened two seminars on the different
possible technologies and the opportunities they offered
for local people and businesses. At the same time, he published
his 'Wireless Herefordshire' discussion paper on the same
topic. Only last week Jesse encouraged Peter Luff MP, Chair
of the influential House of Commons Select Committee on
Business, Innovation and Skills, to push for wider rural
access to broadband, at a breakfast event in Hereford.
afterwards, Jesse said, 'Herefordshire is already a centre
for creative people and businesses. But we badly need better
infrastructure, including better telecoms. The sad fact
is that huge parts of the county lack any decent access
to broadband at all. The government is preoccupied with
high speed communications in city centres, when it should
be equally focused on decent access in rural counties such
as this one.
have declared themselves very happy with the Kingstone trial
and are now moving forward with plans to develop further
coverage across the county. There is thus a huge opportunity
for local people and local communities to form user groups
and approach Allpay with a view to joining their network.'
interested in learning more about getting wireless broadband
should write to Jesse at 49 Broomy Hill Hereford HR4 0LJ,
or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with Tony Killeen Chief Executive Officer.
HEREFORDSHIRE LOBBY'S GOVERNMENT FOR FAIRER FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS
delegation from Herefordshire met with Minister for Schools
and Learners, Vernon Coaker on Monday, 25th January to lobby
for fairer funding for the county's schools. This follows
a similar meeting which took place between Herefordshire
Council and the previous Minister for Schools, Jim Knight
in March 2008. Herefordshire
Council's director of children's services Sharon Menghini,
was invited to join MPs Bill Wiggin and Paul Keetch, Peter
Box, head of Sutton, Lord Scudamore and Kings Caple primary
schools, Chris Barker, head of Fairfield High School, Denise
Kennedy, vice chair of governors at Kingstone High School
and John Spackman, community governor at Dilwyn Primary
delegation told the Minister that Herefordshire remains
the third worst funded authority in the country which has
made development, investment and opportunities for improvement
very difficult. As pupil numbers fall, Herefordshire is
facing reduced funding and as schools feel the squeeze on
budgets, there is serious concern that the quality of education
is likely to suffer. Mr Coaker heard about the difficulties
local schools have recruiting head teachers, the growing
number of schools with budget deficits and the rising costs
of school redundancies. 'We
are already beginning to see the quality of education being
affected by reduced funding and are concerned that we have
more schools needing local authority support and a growing
number in Ofsted categories,' said Sharon Menghini, Director
of Children's Services.
Coaker explained that the way schools are funded is set
to change in 2011 and that as a result of a nation-wide
consultation, five key principles would be used to set funding
from 2011. Although he was unable to provide detail, he
explained that the new formula will continue to work on
an amount per pupil with additions made for sparsity, additional
educational needs, deprivation and area cost adjustment.
we outlined our hopes that future funding would align Herefordshire
with average levels of funding rather than remaining one
of the poorest,' continued Sharon Menghini. 'Although the
meeting went well and Mr Coaker listened to our concerns,
he explained that any change would produce winners and losers
and that all local authorities would have good arguments
as to why their authority deserved more. The meeting was
a welcome opportunity and of value in raising awareness
and understanding of the issues with the minister although
I believe we will continue to face challenging times in
the months ahead.'
head teachers will discuss the implications of Mr Coaker's
comments and the new funding formula when they meet with
the council's director of children's services on 12th February.
POLICE GIVE YOUNG PEOPLES MOTOR CHARITY A CASH BOOST
charity run by police officers for worthy causes has donated
money to a youth project in Herefordshire and Worcestershire
that helps disaffected young people.
was set up to help young people who have become disengaged
from mainstream education and are in danger of not reaching
their full potential. Its activities are based around cars,
motorcycles and bicycles and seeks to address issues such
as vehicle crime, antisocial behaviour and social exclusion.
The charity is based in Worcester, Hereford and Kidderminster.
To help Motov8 in its work, officers from West Mercia Police's
Force Operations Department have donated £250 to the charity.
The money came from West Mercia's Police Community Fund
which is largely made up of donations from Police officers
and staff and other interested parties.
Billy Keys of the Roads Policing unit nominated Motov8 for
a donation from the PC fund. He said, 'As a Roads Policing
officer, I come across a lot of young people who are involved
in vehicle crime and I see at first hand how destructive
and dangerous their crimes are. 'These young offenders are
among those that Motov8 targets, redirecting their interest
in cars from illegal activity into a useful and constructive
route. They learn mechanic skills and life skills at the
same time, as well as having a great time. Motov8 helps
young people turn their lives around and they've had some
fantastic results over the years. The Force Operations Department
is keen to engage and support our local communities; Motov8
is a charity we believe a donation can make a difference
Managing Director, the Reverend Mark Badger said, 'We greatly
value our connections with West Mercia Police and value
their support in our work with young people. This donation
will help us continue that work and hopefully help divert
more young people from negative to positive activities.'
Billy Keys with Mark Badger of Motov8.
SARAH TALKS BUSINESS WITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Carr, Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Hereford and South
Herefordshire, met with business members from Herefordshire
and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce on Friday 22nd January.
The meeting took place at the Leadership Trust in Weston-Under-Penyard,
near Ross-on-Wye, where Sarah was briefed of the Chamber
of Commerce’s ‘Business Blueprint for opportunity, jobs
also presented Liberal Democrat policies on issues such
as tax, skills and infrastructure and gave attendees insight
into her successful business career in the telecoms industry
which she gave up three years ago to campaign full time
Sarah said, 'In campaigning full time for Herefordshire
I meet a very wide range of groups. Our local businesses
are absolutely vital and as a result I am pleased to work
in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to support local
business, entrepreneurs and our economy.'
TRADING STANDARDS WARN PENSIONERS OF HIGH PRESSURE SALES
Council's Trading Standards Service is issuing a warning
following complaints that vulnerable people are currently
being targeted for high price mobility products by a firm
called ABM Mobility. The company, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire
cold call pensioners selling mobility scooters, memory foam
mattress toppers, adjustable beds, reclining chairs, stair
and bath lifts. One Leominster pensioner was coerced into
buying a reclining chair for £3,500 last week and another
local couple had a representative in their home for three
hours and signed up for a reclining chair merely to get
rid of the rep.
Thorne, principal trading standards officer said, 'These
incidents may be typical of the way the company operates.
The £3,500 sale is simply disgraceful and in the other case,
the sales rep claimed the chair was discounted from £3,000
to £850. I doubt these items are really worth £850, let
alone £3,500 and to make it worse the couples didn't need
or want one.'
Mobility have recently had a court injunction against them
ordering them to trade fairly. This was due to there being
more than 100 complaints in other parts of the UK during
2009. Breach of this order can lead to the firm being fined
or the owner being imprisoned. Mr. Thorne added, 'Anyone
who is interested in such products should get quotes from
reputable local companies and decide on a purchase without
feeling under pressure.
are companies out there who target some of our most vulnerable
members of society and cold calling for expensive mobility
equipment is one of many tactics used by potentially unscrupulous
salespeople. As always, trading standards advice is to never
deal with any cold callers. Anyone who has signed a contract
with ABM Mobility and is concerned, should immediately notify
us via Consumer Direct on 08454040506 and consider using
their 7 day legal right to cancel.'
NATIONAL PROJECT TO INCLUDE HEREFORD MUSEUM OBJECTS
Council's heritage services team has been working closely
with the BBC as part of a year-long project aimed at bringing
world history to life using museum objects as a catalyst.
Five objects from Herefordshire, three of which are from
the council's own museums and galleries, have been selected
to feature on radio broadcasts associated with the A History
of the World Project and on the A History of the World website.
the heart of the project is the BBC Radio 4 series, 'A History
of the World in 100 Objects' with 100 programmes written
and narrated by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British
Museum. These will focus on 100 objects from the British
Museum's collection. The programmes will travel through
two million years from the earliest object in the collection
to retell the history of humanity through the objects we
have made. Each week will be tied to a particular theme,
such as 'after the ice age' or 'the beginning of science
and literature', and the programmes will broadcast in three
blocks, in January, May and August.
by the Radio 4 series and as part of the larger project
involving museums across the UK, Herefordshire's museums
have teamed up with BBC Hereford and Worcester and chosen
objects from their own collections that reflect world history
from each area's perspective. On Tuesday, 16th February,
BBC Hereford and Worcester will be broadcasting a live radio
show, from noon to 3pm, from the Destination Africa open
day at the Museum Resource and Learning Centre on Friars
Street where two of the five objects are on show. The BBC
will also have a live link to the Worcestershire County
Museum in Hartlebury who will be covering the five objects
selected from Worcestershire's museum collections.
Andrew, Herefordshire Council's principal heritage officer
said, 'We had to work closely with the BBC and go through
a rigorous process to get items selected for inclusion in
the project. We are delighted that five of the objects have
come from Herefordshire and that three are from our own
collections and offer an insight into the wide and varied
history of the county. All of the items will be featured
on BBC Hereford and Worcester and the museum objects are
also available to view in a special case in the foyer at
Hereford Museum in Broad Street and also at the Museum Resource
and Learning Centre in Friars Street.
Roman Spatha sword, left, made 2AD to 3AD, from Hereford
Museum and Art Gallery. This object was found by a man walking
his dog along the bank of the River Lugg. It is one of only
eight such swords in the country and it is possible it was
either lost by a Roman soldier or a ritual offering to a
water god. It seems to have been deliberately bent as part
of a ritual but may have been bent in a process by which
Spanish spatha were tested for quality.
photograph on the right shows a With Astronomical Mirror,
1863, from Hereford Museum Resource and Learning Centre.
This object was made by George Henry With, headteacher at
Bluecoat School, who later became Dean of Hereford Cathedral.
In the mid 19th century he was one of the first exponents
of silvered mirrors for use in astronomical instruments
alongside the Reverends Thomas William Webb and Henry Cooper
Key, also of Herefordshire. George With made more than 200
mirrors for amateur telescopes.
1863 Webb experimented with a 5½-inch silvered-glass mirror
made by GH With. This was brand new technology as reflecting
telescopes had only previously used metal speculum mirrors
which tarnished quickly and required frequent re-polishing.
In 1864 Webb up-graded by purchasing an 8-inch from With
which could then be compared with his 5½-inch refractor.
In 1866 Webb was bought a new telescope with a 9.3-inch
silvered-glass mirror made by G. H. With.
Mappa Mundi, c.1300, Hereford Cathedral. The Hereford Mappa
Mundi is an outstanding treasure of the medieval world recording
how thirteenth century scholars interpreted the world in
spiritual as well as geographical terms. It bears the name
of its author 'Richard of Haldingham or Lafford' (Holdingham
and Sleaford in Lincolnshire) and was created around 1300.
on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin) measuring 1.58 x
1.33 meters, it tapers towards the top with a rounded apex.
The geographical material of the map is contained within
a circle measuring 52" in diameter and reflects the thinking
of the medieval church with Jerusalem at the centre of the
world. Superimposed onto the continents are around 500 drawings
of the history of humankind and the marvels of the natural
world, including some 420 cities and towns, 15 Biblical
events, 33 plants, animals, birds and strange creatures,
32 images of the peoples of the world and 8 pictures from
Alfred Watkins Bee Meter.
photograph above shows the Alfred Watkins Bee Meter, 1890,
from Hereford Museum Resource and Learning Centre. Alfred
Watkins, born in Hereford, invented the Bee Meter which
was patented in April 1890. This was the first light meter
to measure the relative intensity of light through Watkins'
invention of the actinometer, which allowed a numerical
value to be assigned to light. The Bee Meter was a pocket
calculator for determining exposure, so called because it
was small and highly efficient. It was manufactured in Friars
Street, Hereford, in a building known as The Meter Works.
success was demonstrated when H G Ponting, the photographer
on Scott's Antarctic Expedition in 1910, used a Watkins
Meter to produce his amazing landscapes of this unknown
continent. He told Watkins that without the meter, the photographs
would have been impossible and one of the photographs, in
the collection of Leominster Folk Museum, is also included.
Sales of the bee meter grew and they were exported worldwide.
An order was received from China for which the half crown
was eventually received. Watkin's son records this as one
of his father's most treasured experiences.
on display will be The East Window, St John's Medieval Museum
and Coningsby Hospital, Hereford. This window depicts the
history of the St John Hospitaller Knights whose influence
was far-reaching in the medieval world, particularly in
the Holy Land. They stemmed the growth of the Ottoman empire
through the great Siege of Malta in 1565.
window shows St John the Baptist kneeling before Jesus at
the River Jordan, with the founder of the order, Blessed
Gerard, in the centre who was born in 1070 in Amalfi, Southern
Italy. At that time, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land would
clear you of all your sins. It also shows pilgrims being
treated by the Hospitaller Knights, the church of the Holy
Sepulcre, St Michael weighing the soul of a pilgrim, plus
numerous eight pointed stars, the symbol of the Knights
Hospitallers. The Knights of St John still exist today as
the Knights of Malta.
window was brought from the St John chapel at Harewood Park,
Herefordshire when it was deconsecrated in the 1970s.
POWER BOOST FOR WIDEMARSH STREET TRADERS AND RESIDENTS
part of its plans for a major refurbishment of Widemarsh
Street in Hereford, Herefordshire Council has secured agreement
from Central Networks to renew the mains network along the
consultations held with residents and traders over the scheme,
concerns were expressed about problems with the existing
electricity supply which was affecting trade in Widemarsh
Street due to repeated power failures. Herefordshire Council
raised the issue with Central Networks who agreed to start
work on renewing the mains electricity along the length
of teh street on Monday, 25th January.
Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for
highways and transportation said, 'These works by Central
Networks have been timed to coincide with the refurbishment
works already planned for Widemarsh Street and this will
minimise the disruption for traders, residents and shoppers.
I am delighted we have been able to secure this agreement
from Central Networks before our scheme starts and they
can now work with our contractors, Alun Griffiths to make
this street a flagship entrance to the city. Businesses
and residents will now also benefit from a new mains supply
which should address the concerns raised during the consultation
and ensure traders can operate in future without any problems
with their electricity supply.
paving works will start on 22nd February and the whole scheme
should be completed before Christmas. Access to shops and
for deliveries will be maintained throughout the works.
Natural stone paving materials will be used throughout and,
wherever possible, any 'street clutter' will be removed.
This means signs and street lights will be mounted onto
buildings instead of having posts and lighting columns.
A road closure came into force on Monday to allow the works
to start and access will only be allowed for deliveries
Wilcox added, 'With any major scheme like this, there is
bound to be some disruption and I hope everyone will bear
with us while works are carried out. I would ask shoppers
to carry on using all their usual shops in Widemarsh Street
as access will be provided to every property. I am sure
everyone will be delighted with the new appearance of the
street which will become an attractive entrance to the new
Edgar Street Grid retail quarter and thus attract many more
shoppers and visitors.'
FLY TIPPING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN HEREFORDSHIRE
Council has successfully prosecuted a Herefordshire man
for fly tipping Martin Campbell, 42, of Top Hill Cottage,
Much Dewchurch, pleaded guilty to the offence at Hereford
Magistrates Court on Friday, 22nd January and was fined
£350. He was also ordered to pay costs of £525.71, a further
£135.35 in compensation to pay for the clear up of the fly
tipping, and a £15 victim surcharge, making a total of £1,025.98.
Sam Evans, prosecuting, told the court that on 4th June
2009, two council enforcement officers received a report
of fly tipping in a lay-by at Haywood Lane and found a large
amount of rubbish had been deposited there. The rubbish
included household rubbish, hairdressing consumables and
wooden roofing pallets and when it was collected it weighed
300kg, she added. Mrs Evans added that among the rubbish
collected from the lay-by was correspondence with the defendant's
address on it and this allowed officers to trace him. The
defendant initially denied the offence but later admitted
he had deposited it.
Evans added that the lay-by was 3.2 miles from the defendant's
house whereas the household waste site at Rotherwas was
7.9 miles away. Campbell, who represented himself, told
the court it was his responsibility and it had been a moment
of madness. He told magistrates he was in a hurry because
his son was due to go to hospital but he now wished he had
never done it and would not do it again.
the court case, Shane Hancock, Herefordshire Council's acting
regulatory manager said, 'Our community protection team
is there to respond quickly to any reports that the public
make about incidents of fly tipping, ensure it is cleared
up, and then find and prosecute the offenders. In this case,
the defendant has gained credit for his early guilty plea
but I am pleased we not only gained a fine but also our
full costs for prosecuting the case and clearing up the
rubbish. Herefordshire is a beautiful county and we must
all work together to ensure it stays that way and fly tipping
will not be tolerated.'
rubbish left in the lay-by at Haywood Lane.
BAG SNATCH IN WALNUT TREE AVENUE
Police are appealing for information following a bag snatch
in South Wye. The theft happened at 1.30am on Saturday,
16th January as a 36-year old woman was walking home along
Walnut Tree Avenue, Hereford. A group of six young males
passed her, one of whom came back towards her, pushed her
backwards and grabbed the handbag she was carrying. All
six males then ran off into Holme Lacy Road.
offending male is described as white, late teens / early
20's, 5'9" tall, slim to average build with dark spiky hair.
He was wearing light-coloured trainers and dark-coloured
tracksuit bottoms. The stolen handbag was made of black
leather with a metal stud and metal chain affixed to it.
are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the
incident or may know of the current whereabouts of the stolen
handbag. Anybody with information should contact PC Rebecca
Colcombe at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or
call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
LEDBURY LIBRARY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS FOR INTERGENERATIONAL PROJECT
Library is working on an inter-generational project bringing
together two generations to share stories about their teenage
years. The idea behind the project is that today's teens
will learn what it was like to be a teenager years ago and
will have the opportunity to tell the older generation what
it is like being a young person in Ledbury today. This will
all form part of a project to get young people working with
different areas of the community, involving the library,
as well as John Masefield High School and Age Concern.
ensure the success of the project, Herefordshire Council
is looking for people, young or old, who are interested
in being involved and can invest a few hours in order to
meet up with everybody to share experiences. In return,
the council aims to help with transport, offer refreshments
and also hope this project will be fun. There are plans
to hold a celebration event at the end of the project to
bring everyone together and the young people will be awarded
with nationally recognized certificates as a reward for
their volunteering and entertainment. A professional photographer
will be following the project to capture images that will
be displayed in the library and around the community.
you are interested in being involved in the project, or
would like further information, please contact either Lauren
Price or Emma Stevens at Ledbury Library on 01531 632133.