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14th April 2010 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
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LOCAL MEN RUN TO SAVE TUDORVILLE COMMUNITY CENTRE

You may have read in recent issues of Wyenot News of Tudorville Community Association's bid to save the building that once was Tudorville Youth Centre and turn it into a community hall for the benefit of all. A business plan has been submitted to Herefordshire Council in the hope that an asset transfer can take place, enabling the Association to repair and refurbish the building which Herefordshire Council has deemed no longer fit for purpose.

Obviously, due to the current state of the building, repairs and refurbishment are going to cost a lot of money, but already some excellent and fruitful fund raising activities have taken place, the latest of which took place last Monday, 5th April.

Four Tudorville men, namely Billy Carr, Ian Gray, Andy Trotman and Lonnie Hill organized a run, setting off from Hereford Ambulance Station at 9am and heading for the Man of Ross pub in Ross-on-Wye. The first two runners home were Lonnie and Andy, arriving at the pub at 10:55am. Not far behind were Ian and Billy, who romped in at 11:15.

The four runners did not run a usual sponsorship form, but instead placed collection boxes in local pubs and businesses and it is expected that the total raised will amount to several hundred pounds.

Well done to you all and good luck to Ian Gray who is taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon on 23rd May to boost the funds even further. If you would like to sponsor Ian or you would like to make a donation, no matter how small, please contact Colin Gray on 01989 567995. He will be very pleased to hear from you.

Future fund raising events are in the pipeline, including a table sale on 1st of May and a Bingo Night on 7th May.


Getting ready to begin the long run home are Andy Trotman, Lonnie Hill, Billy Carr and Ian Gray.

ROSS TOWN COUNCILLORS URGE RESIDENTS TO VOTE IN BY-ELECTION

Following the resignation from Ross Town Council of Councillor John Davies, a vacancy has arisen for a new councillor, an election for whom is to be held on 27th May 2010.

It is as yet unconfirmed as to who is standing in the by-election to represent Ross-on-Wye West Ward, but two prime candidates are thought to be Lib Dem Caroline Utting, Secretary of the Association of Ross Traders (ART) and Conservative, Mrs. Margaret Lucas, wife of Councillor Gordon Lucas and former Mayoress of Ross-on-Wye.

If you are interested in becoming a Ross Town Councillor, nominations must be received by 29th April 2010.

At a meeting of the full Town Council on Monday, 12th April it was decided not to issue new polling cards for this election in an effort to keep expenses down, but Wyenot News, along with other local press have been asked to keep Ross residents informed.


ROSS CARNIVAL PRINCESS 2010

All young ladies who live in the HR9 area and will be aged between 6 and 13 years by 7th August 2010 are being invited by Ross Carnival Committee to get out their finest frocks and contend for the title of Ross Carnival Princess 2010.

The annual contest will take place on Sunday, 9th May at the Larruperz Centre between 2pm and 4pm, so all would be princesses and their parents are asked to arrive in time to register.

The chosen Carnival Princess will also have the title of the Merton House Rose Queen.

For further information, please contact Anne Gray on 01989 567995.


MORRISTON MALE VOICE CHOIR TO RETURN TO ROSS

The Ross-on-Wye Town Band are delighted to announce that once again they will be performing in concert with the famous Morriston RFC Male Voice Choir. The concert of voice and brass will take place at St Mary’s Church, Ross on Saturday, 17th April at 7.30pm.

The award winning Welsh soprano Jennifer Walker will also be appearing and is sure to delight the audience with her unique and beautiful voice. This will be the third time the choir has come to Ross. On both previous occasions the church has been full.

Morriston RFC Choir are one of the premier Welsh Male Voice Choirs and will be performing many favourite pieces from their extensive repertoire. At the present time the choir has 100 plus members and has performed with many international artists, Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins, Arfon Haynes Davies, Gary Wilmott and Wynford Evans to name a few, in prestigious venues including Wells Cathedral, Brecon Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey, Windsor, Eton College, Brangwyn Hall Swansea, St David’s Hall Cardiff and the Royal Albert Hall London.

Ross Town Band is now in its 25th year since reforming and is thriving under the baton of Mr Peter Ryland. Peter has been associated with the Band since 1965 and became Musical Director in 2000. The Band plays at a variety of events throughout the year supporting local charities and raising funds to pay the running costs of the Band. The band has travelled to Ross’s twin towns of Betzdorf, Germany and Conde, France. The band also supports a training band which takes players of all ages and abilities, provides instruments and training and prepares players for the Senior Band.

Jennifer Walker has won many prizes including the RWCMD prize for achievement (2004 & 2005), the Aneurin Davies Memorial Prize 2005, the Russel Sheppard Memorial Vocal Scholarship 2006, and the Sir Geraint Evans Scholarship and Elias Singing Prize for Soprano. As well as opera, oratorio and recital performances, Jennifer is a frequent soloist for BBC Radio 3 and Radio Wales, including the role of First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) for the programme 'Discovering Music.' Master classes include James Gilchrist, Bernadette Greevey, Ryland Davies, Wynne Evans and the panel of the 2005 Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

For full details of the concert and ticket availability please telephone 01452 760 398 or 07768 182 858.


ROSS LIONS' ROSS ROUND WALK 2010

The 4th Lions Ross Round Walk took place on Saturday, 10th April and on a beautiful sunny but cool morning, fifty walkers set out from the Ross Lions Bandstand to enjoy the wonderful scenery and views around Ross-on-Wye.

The walk is an 18 mile route round Ross-on-Wye and was set out by Guy Vowles in his book 'The Ross Round' in 2004. The walk can either be taken as a whole or as sections varying in length from 3 miles up to 18 and is organized annually by Ross Lions Club. The walkers raise sponsorship with 75% going to their chosen charity, club or organization and 25% going to Lions charitable funds.

Scouts and Guides were well represented this year, as were Ross Youth Lions, along with many individual walkers. Two visitors joined in on the spur of the moment, walking four miles to Hole in the Wall and really enjoying the riverside walk. Walkers can opt for any distance from 3 to 18 miles, for the bravest, which on this occasion included some of the fitter Lions.

The annual Lions Ross Round Walk is going from strength to strength as more and more walkers appreciate the beauty of the Herefordshire countryside. To learn more about the Ross Round Walk, or just Ross Lions Club, visit the web site at: http://www.rossonwyelions.org


At the start of the Ross Round.

MAN ASSAULTED IN BRAMPTON STREET ROSS

South Herefordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward who may have seen an assault on a man as he walked home during the early hours in Ross-on-Wye at the weekend.

The incident occurred in Brampton Street, Ross at around 2.15am on Saturday, 10th April. The middle-aged male was walking up the street towards Greytree and had just crossed the road as the pavement on his side had ended. He said good night to two youths who were seated on a bench nearby. As he continued on his journey he was struck from behind by one of the youths. The blow was in his left eye, which resulted in bruising and a cut to his cheek, for which he was later treated in hospital.

The two suspects are described as white males, 18 years of age, 5'7" to 5'8" tall, both of slim build and wearing light coloured or grey hoodie-style tops. Police are keen to hear from anyone who saw the assault or who may have information as to the identity of the offenders.

Anyone with information should contact PC John Patterson at Ross Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.


ROSS LIB DEMS SELECT CAROLINE UTTING FOR BY-ELECTION

Chris Green, President Herefordshire Liberal Democrats, Paul Keetch, MP, Caroline Utting, Councillor Chris Bartrum and Sarah Carr, Parliamentary candidate.

Ross-on-Wye Liberal Democrats have announced that they have selected Caroline Utting to contest the seat of Ross West in the forthcoming town council by-election.

Commenting, Councillor Chris Bartrum, chair of Ross-on-Wye Liberal Democrats, said, 'Caroline has done so much for Ross through her work on the Ross traders association, with the Ross Town Plan and by her contribution the Ross Pancake Races this year. She is really committed to Ross and she will bring energy and new ideas to the town council.'

Sarah Carr, Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Ross said, 'I think Caroline was a fantastic choice by Ross Liberal Democrats. Since meeting Caroline, I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment she has shown towards Ross. She will be a true asset to the Town Council.'

Caroline said, 'I used to support the Conservatives but the Liberal Democrats in Ross are so active and engaged that I decided to join them. I know it's going to be hard work to get elected but I have been knocking on doors already and have had a great reception from residents.'

Caroline is keen to engage with local people. She has set up a Facebook page (Caroline for Ross Town Council) and can be contacted on 01989 565685 or caroline@caroline4ross.org.uk.

Caroline would be pleased if you would get in touch if you have any questions for her or would like to help with the campaign.


LANE CLOSURES ON A40 BETWEEN MOMOUTH AND WILTON

Herefordshire Council is advising motorists that lane closures are in place on the A40 between Monmouth and the Wilton roundabout in Ross.

The lane closures are necessary as the council's contractor Amey need to carry out litter picking and road sweeping along this stretch of the A40. Lane closures began on Monday, 12th April and will remain in place until Friday, 16th April from 9.30am until 3.30pm each day.

Motorists are advised to take care on all routes and to comply with warning signs. They should please respect road closure signs as they are there for everyone's safety.


PRIDE OF HEREFORDSHIRE PHOTO COMPETITION

Photographers are being given the opportunity to showcase their work in some of the most visual places in Herefordshire in a competition to highlight the beauty and diversity of the county. This competition has been launched as one part of Herefordshire Council's Windows on Art scheme funded by the Communities and Local Government Department, which aims to make creative use of empty shops with a view to making high streets a more vibrant and attractive place to shop and run businesses.

The Pride of Herefordshire Photo Competition is an opportunity to show everyone what is good about the county and for everyone else to see it. Pictures will be judged and winners will see their images featured in window displays in empty shops around the county. Natalia Silver, Herefordshire Council's head of economic and community services said, 'This is a chance for local people to use photography to show what Herefordshire means to them, as well as improving empty shops to visitors and shoppers into the county. This is a development of the window in art programme ran last year which was really popular and makes the most of the creativity in the county.'

The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers alike, who are residents of Herefordshire who have until Tuesday, 4th May to enter their images into The Pride of Herefordshire Photo Competition. The Pride of Herefordshire Photo Competition judging panel will be looking for the photographers idea of positive aspects of living and working in the county. They will also consider a range of factors and will be looking for present rural, urban landscapes and scenes at events. Judges will also look for a creative approach and good technical ability.

For full details on how to enter the competition, please visit the link: http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/leisure/arts_and_crafts/26195.asp or email: lhill@herefordshire.gov.uk or telephone Liz Hill on 01432 260621.


ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL WILDFLOWER FRITILLARY WALK THIS WEEKEND

Herefordshire Nature Trust are holding its annual Fritillary Guided Walk around the nature reserve, the Lugg Meadow on Saturday, 17th April. The walks will start at 10am followed by others at 20 minute intervals. Why not take the family to see some of Herefordshire's rarest wildflowers and learn about the fascinating history of the Lugg Meadow.

All are welcome so wrap up warm, put on your walking boots and come along to find out about the significance of the 'dole stones' and just why these meadows are so special.

The event will run from 10am until 12 Noon with an entrance fee of £2 per adult. Accompanied children will be admitted free. There will also be coffee & biscuits along with stalls selling home-made cakes, books, plants and Trust goods. A raffle will also be held.

Directions to the event at Herefordshire Nature Trust, Lower House Farm, Ledbury Road, Tupsley, Hereford, HR1 1UT are: Take the turning opposite the Cock of Tupsley pub, and Lower House Farm is farther down the lane, a 17th Century farmhouse with an interesting history. Grid Ref: 536404 Our Website: www.herefordshirewt.org


RESIGNATIONS LEAVE TWO HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL SEATS OPEN

Residents of two Herefordshire wards could have more than just an MP to elect at the forthcoming general election on Thursday, 6th May. Following the resignation of two Herefordshire Council councillors, Councillor Rees Mills and Councillor Kay Swinburne, voters in the Hope End and Ledbury wards will also be voting for a new councillor to represent them locally if the two seats are contested.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 6th May and the result will be announced at the count which will take place at the Leisure Centre on Holmer Road on the evening of the election.

Voters are reminded that the deadline for new applications to vote by post, or to change existing postal or proxy arrangements, should reach the electoral registration officer based at the Town Hall in St Owen Street, Hereford by 5pm on Tuesday, 20th April.

New applications to vote by proxy must be received at the Town Hall by 5pm on Tuesday, 27th April.


SCHOOLS NOW OFFER READING, WRITING AND RECYCLING

Following the successful introduction of the new home recycling scheme in Herefordshire, the council's waste management team is now turning its attention to schools. Schools will be able to help protect the environment but also save money by recycling instead of sending their waste to landfill.

Wheeled bins, the same as those provided to homes across the county, can be provided free of charge to Herefordshire schools and can be used for the same materials which are paper, cardboard, cartons, plastic bottles and containers, mixed glass and tins and cans. The recyclables collected are taken to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) which separates the materials using a combination of mechanical separation and hand sorting. Once separated these materials are then bulked up and delivered to reprocessing companies.

Laura Blackwell, Herefordshire Council's recycling officer said, 'By recycling in school, you can help protect the environment, promote recycling to the pupils and cut your waste disposal bills.'

If your school is interested in the recycling service please contact Herefordshire Council's recycling officer, Laura Blackwell, on 01432 260488.


Whitchurch School pupils, Nicole Sullivan, Rozzie Brown, Cameron Jones and Callum Pitman with teacher, Donna Powell and recycling officer, Laura Blackwell.

COUNCIL WARNS RESIDENTS OF BOGUS BROADBAND OFFER

Herefordshire Council is warning county residents to beware of cold callers claiming to offer free broadband.

Maureen Guest, Herefordshire Council's principal trading standards officer said, 'We have received calls from concerned members of the public who have been told by cold callers that Herefordshire Council is offering a free broadband service. As a council, we have no such offer for residents but would instead urge people to carry out their own research into the best broadband provider for their needs.

Residents should always be wary of cold callers who often claim to offer services that do not exist and target the most vulnerable members of society. I would also welcome it if anyone who has calls from these people would contact trading standards so we can investigate the matter further.'


POLICE WARN HORSE OWNERS TO BE ON THEIR GUARD

Herefordshire Police are warning horse owners to be on their guard against horse thieves after a suspicious incident at a farm in Tillington.

The incident happened at 10.20pm on Monday, 29th March when the owner of some horses in Tillington heard the sound of a lorry outside the house and went to check. As they did so, the vehicle then sped off, colliding with a wall in the process, damaging its rear light. The vehicle was reported as being a Mercedes 810 horse lorry in blue/light grey colouring.

Police would ask all horse owners to be vigilant in the light of these suspicious circumstances. They would also like to hear from anyone who might know of a Mercedes horse lorry that has recently sustained rear end damage.

Anyone with information should contact PC Pete Webb at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


COUNTY RESIDENTS SAY NHS HEREFORDSHIRE PROVIDES A GOOD SERVICE

More people in Herefordshire believe their local NHS is providing a good service since the primary care trust joined together with the council in close partnership working. Now, 83 per cent of local people are satisfied with NHS Herefordshire compared with 66 per cent three years ago. Public satisfaction with the NHS in Herefordshire is also substantially higher than the overall satisfaction with the NHS in the West Midlands region (72 per cent) and higher than the national level of satisfaction (73 per cent).

The research, undertaken by Ipsos Mori and commissioned by the Department of Health, shows that Herefordshire is number two in the league table of 17 trusts in the region when it comes to a positive perception of service. Herefordshire people are also least likely to feel local health care needs improvement. Three out of four residents said their local NHS Herefordshire services need no or little improvement.

People in Herefordshire are most happy about the quality of medical treatment by their GPs and the short amount of time it takes to get an appointment with them. They are also pleased with the information provided about local health care and access to services to improve their own health. But priorities for improvement in Herefordshire echoed those of people identified across the West Midlands. Most important was improved cleanliness of local hospitals, according to 16 per cent of local people. Shorter time spent waiting in accident and emergency were called for by 14 per cent and 11 per cent said they also want easier access to NHS dentists. Care for the elderly was not seen as needing any improvement in Herefordshire.

'It is very encouraging that most people feel their local NHS services have got better since we joined up management teams and many services with the local authority,' said Chris Bull, Chief Executive of both NHS Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council. 'But there is plenty of work still to do. NHS Herefordshire recently launched its strategy for improvement, called Healthy Herefordshire, and while it is true that the local population as a whole lives longer than average and is comparatively healthy, it is still a concern that nearly one in eight people have poorer quality of life, health and well-being.'

NHS Herefordshire, working closely with Herefordshire Council and other partners, has set the challenge over the next four years of improving the health and life chances of two groups in particular. These are young people, affected by poverty, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking and taking risks with sexual behaviour, and the increasingly ageing population, who need more care and support to live with dignity in their own homes, often in remote rural areas.


CHRIS BOARDMAN BIKE STOLEN IN HEREFORD

Police in Hereford are appealing for information after an expensive bicycle was stolen from a city superstore last week.

The incident happened at the Halfords store in Holmer Road, at 2.30pm on Monday, 5th April, when a man entered the store and took a Chris Boardman-brand Team FS-model 27-speed mountain bike, valued at £1,000.

The offender is described as a white male, 5'7" to 5'10" tall, of slim build with dark brown hair. He was wearing a brown suede jacket, blue jeans and a baseball cap.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may know the identity of the offender or the current whereabouts of the stolen machine. Anyone with information should contact PC Julie Black at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 as soon as possible.


An identical cycle to the one stolen from the store.

COMMUNITY PROTECTION TEAM WORKING TO MAKE THE COUNTY GREENER

Herefordshire Council's Community Protection Team has dealt with more than 1,300 reports of environmental antisocial behaviour such as fly-tipping and littering in the past six months. Out of these, 548 of the reports received related to fly-tipping, 122 to abandoned vehicles, 39 to litter, 18 to fly-posting, 14 to graffiti, 500 to dog related issues and 146 to miscellaneous issues. Each of the reports is investigated and this has so far led to four prosecutions and convictions, one formal caution, two formal written warnings, 82 warning or advisory letters issued and 32 fixed penalty notices issued.

Shane Hancock, Herefordshire Council's acting regulatory services manager said, 'Fly-tipping is a particular focus for the team because of the detrimental impact it has on the environment and the cost to the council and local tax payer for removing it. I am pleased that there has been an 11 per cent reduction in reported incidents over the last year. We have already secured four prosecutions for fly-tipping and are actively investigating a number of other incidents. We will not hesitate to take action in the future against anybody caught committing this antisocial offence, albeit I would much prefer to see a continued reduction with people disposing of their waste responsibly and lawfully.

Littering and dog fouling are other areas we have targeted as they are particular issues that people are concerned about. Again the irresponsible actions of a minority have a huge impact on the enjoyment of our towns, villages and open spaces by others. We aim to target the worst affected areas to raise awareness, educate and enforce as necessary. Many people still do not regard dropping cigarette butts and chewing gum as littering. It is, and attracts an instant £80 Fixed Penalty Notice, while failing to clear up after your dog may land you with a £50 notice.

My plea is simple. We are very lucky to live in Herefordshire, but each of us has a part to play in keeping it clean, so please dispose of your waste and litter thoughtfully, and clear up after your dog. It may save you a penalty charge, or worse a conviction, but more importantly it keeps Herefordshire a great place in which to live, work and visit.'


NHS HEREFORDSHIRE TRIALS NEW SECURITY SYSTEM FOR LONE WORKERS

NHS Herefordshire has begun a trial of new security devices designed to help protect its 'lone workers' , staff who work on their own in the community such as district nurses and health visitors. The new system allows NHS staff to signal discreetly for assistance should they feel vulnerable or distressed when working alone - for example due to aggression from patients or their relatives.

Wendy Huxley-Marko, head of corporate risk at NHS Herefordshire said, 'It should be noted that such incidents are extremely rare in the county and staff already have safe systems of work in place to ensure that others are always aware of their whereabouts and work schedule. However, we do not want to be complacent and feel that it is beneficial to test these new devices to see if they provide our staff with additional security.'

As part of a national initiative from the Department of Health, personal security alarms are made available for NHS lone workers to monitor and record incidents where they feel their safety is threatened in any way. The devices are able to track a staff member's location via a postcode, and should an incident occur the alarm is raised with a national call centre, who can locate the individual via a GPS-style system. The call centre staff are specially trained to handle the calls, including being able to recognize when an alarm has been raised by accident. Where appropriate, the emergency services can be contacted and sent to the location.

The training for nominated staff began in Herefordshire in January 2010 and the new devices went live as soon as training was completed.


COUNCIL RECEIVE £1MILLION TOWARDS FIXING COUNTY HIGHWAYS

Herefordshire Council has received an extra £1million from the government towards its major scheme to fix the county's highways. The announcement came as part of the recent Budget after the council lobbied central government for more cash to repair the county's roads. This will be added to the £10.7million already earmarked by the council to deliver the biggest programme of highway maintenance that the county has ever seen.

Richard Ball, Herefordshire Council's assistant director said, 'Highways in Herefordshire have suffered greatly after the worst winter weather in more than 30 years. Rather than just provide a quick fix by filling in potholes, we will carry out a wider programme of planned resurfacing work over the coming year to restore the county's roads to an acceptable standard for the longer term.

The condition of the county's roads is one of our major priorities and I believe Herefordshire is leading the way among local authorities in targeting resources to this important issue. I am glad our lobbying for government cash has paid dividends.'

Detailed surveys have highlighted a rise in defects of more than 30 per cent on the county's road network. This year will see the biggest ever programme of maintenance with over 135 miles of the county's road network being treated.


SARAH CARR CAMPAIGNS TO BE NEXT MP

Sarah Carr the Liberal Democrats candidate for Hereford and South Herefordshire.

Sarah Carr, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate has today launched her campaign to become MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire.

The campaign hit the ground running minutes after Gordon Brown announced that the General Election would be on Thursday, 6th May with a highly visible walk around with supporters in Hereford High Town. This was followed by a similar high energy launch in Ross-on-Wye and canvassing hundreds of houses in Ross.

Commenting, Sarah said, 'I am delighted that Paul Keetch is supporting my campaign to be the next MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire. I have a long history of campaigning for local people in Herefordshire from 14 years ago, running Paul Keetch’s campaign, to today as the parliamentary candidate. Living in Hereford with my family, I am fully committed to our County and will continue ‘Putting Herefordshire First’.

'Throughout this campaign, along with my team I will be meeting with and talking to thousands of local people and organizations. We will be travelling the length and breadth of the constituency giving people a chance to meet me in person and ask whatever they want. I think it is important that people get the chance to assess a candidate in person wherever possible.

I believe my record as Parliamentary Candidate over the last three years shows a real record of action and not just warm words. From leading campaigns to stop our vital Post Offices closing, supporting our rural services, campaigning against the Conservative Council’s closure of the LEA pool, campaigning alongside thousands of concerned parents against the council’s proposed closure of our schools, leading the way on reshaping the ESG developments to better reflect the needs of local people, stopping the Stonebow Mental Health Unit’s gardens from being built on, keeping local police station front desks open to my latest campaign to scrap car parking charges at Hereford’s County Hospital, there is a real record of action that I hope people will look at and see the hard work I would continue to put in on their behalf as MP.

For people who would like to help with the campaign, they can contact me on 01432 265528 or at info@sarahcarr.org.uk.'


MAKE SURE OF YOUR VOTE AT THE GENERAL ELECTION

Voters in Herefordshire will go to the polls on Thursday, 6th May, to elect their Member of Parliament for the Hereford & South Herefordshire and North Herefordshire constituencies. Electors in Hope End and Ledbury wards will be going to the polls on the same day to elect new Herefordshire Council councillors following resignations.

To ensure everybody who wants to vote can, Herefordshire Council is issuing the following guidance:

Not everyone realizes that they need to reregister each year to have their names included on the register of electors. Registration takes place in the autumn when the council's electoral registration team carries out the annual canvass.

Anyone who returned the canvass form, or registered on line or by telephone during the annual canvass, should be on the register of electors. They will shortly receive their poll card with voting details for the election. Anyone who did not register, or who has changed address since the autumn, still has time to register in time for the elections.

'All they need to do is download the voter registration form off the council's website and return it to the council's electoral registration team based at the Town Hall in St Owen Street, Hereford, as soon as possible,' said Chris Bull, the acting returning officer for the election. 'The deadline for completed forms to be with us is Tuesday, 20th April.' The forms are also available from the council's Info shops and libraries - and they can be obtained by telephoning the council's electoral registration team on 0844 9396107.

For those who can't get to a polling station to vote, the council has the following advice:

If you can't get to your polling station to vote, or simply find it more convenient to vote by post, then you can apply to vote by post for the 6th May and future elections. Once again, the forms to apply for a postal vote are available to download from the council's website - www.herefordshire.gov.uk/elections - and from Info shops and libraries. The deadline to apply to vote by post at the elections is 5pm on Tuesday, 20th April.

The council is aiming to send out postal votes for the election on either Friday, 23rd or Monday, 26th April at the latest.

Alternatively, residents can choose to vote by proxy, this means appointing someone to vote on your behalf. Simply complete and return the proxy application form which can be found on the council's website and is available from Info shops and libraries and return it to us. You may need to have your application vouched for, depending on the reasons for your application. More details can be found on the form.

The deadline to apply to vote by proxy at the elections is 5pm on Tuesday, 27th April other than for medical emergencies. If someone is unable to get to the polling station due to a medical emergency that has arisen after the normal deadline, they can apply to vote by proxy up to 5pm on the day of the election.

To anyone who wants to stand in the general election, Herefordshire Council is issuing the following guidance:

Nomination packs can be downloaded from the council's web site www.herefordshire.gov.uk/elections or can be obtained by telephoning the electoral services office on 0844 9396107. Completed nomination papers have to be delivered to the acting returning officer at the Council Offices, Brockington, 35 Hafod Road, Hereford HR1 1SH between 10am and 4pm (Monday - Friday) from Wednesday, 14th to Tuesday, 20th April 2010.

Key towns served in each of the two constituencies covering the county are: Hereford & South Herefordshire: Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, North Herefordshire covers Leominster, Kington, Bromyard and Ledbury.

Polling station locations can also be found on the council's website. Anyone who needs further information about the process should contact the electoral registration team on 0844 9396107.


COUNCIL OFFER DISCOUNT ON COMPOST BINS

Herefordshire and Worcestershire County Councils are once again offering residents the chance to get discounted compost bins delivered direct to their front door. The home compost bin scheme is back for the new season and prices remain the same as last year.

A choice of green or black bins are on offer costing from £12 for a 220 litre compost bin (£7 + £5 delivery) or £15 for a 330 litre compost bin (£10 + £5 delivery). Residents can get a second bin half price and when ordering more than one bin residents only pay one £5 delivery charge. A wider range of compost bins are also available plus wormeries and Bokashi systems and composting accessories to help people to continue composting or try it for the first time.

Composting provides a free source of nutrients to help the garden grow and it also prevents waste going to landfill. As the weather starts to improve, householders will have more garden waste, such as grass cuttings. Garden waste can be mixed with other ingredients e.g. egg boxes, scrunched up paper and vegetable peelings, to create excellent compost.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for environment and strategic housing said, 'The new compost bins are good news for residents. We hope that we can continue to promote home composting and encourage those people not already composting to do so. We will also continue to provide further support to those already keen on reducing their household waste, especially through the new recycling scheme which has seen the amount of materials being recycled treble in just a few months of operation.'

Bins can be ordered online by visiting http://hw.getcomposting.com or by calling 0844 571 4444.


SET UP A CAR CLUB AND HELP PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT SAY COUNCIL

Herefordshire Council's integrated transport team and Greening the Village, St James and Bartonsham are hosting a special event aimed at encouraging more county residents to set up and join car clubs so they not only save money but help the planet as well. More than 100,000 people in the UK are already members of car clubs where they can book cars for specific periods rather than having to own their own vehicle. This not only saves people the costs of owning and running a car but is also an excellent way to reduce an individual's carbon footprint.

Andrew Ashcroft, Herefordshire Council's head of planning and transportation said, 'In one easy move setting up a car club can help people cut their carbon emissions, cut their contribution to congestion, and cut the clutter on their street. In the UK, the average car owner produces more than two tonnes of carbon dioxide through driving each year. Joining a car club can drastically reduce this as car club cars are more environmentally friendly and used more efficiently.'

If you are interested in setting up a car club, a special event is being held at The Courtyard, Hereford, on Tuesday, 27th April at 7pm. Speakers at the event are Andrew Calper from Llanidloes Car Club, Alice Powell from Talybont on Usk and Robin Coates from Colwall Car Club.

For further information about the event, contact the sustainable travel team at Herefordshire Council on 01432 260514 or sustainabletravel@herefordshire.gov.uk


COUNTY CHILDMINDERS NETWORK GIVEN THUMBS UP FOR TOP STANDARDS

Herefordshire has some of the best childminders in the country and the local childminder network run by Herefordshire Council has just been given the thumbs up by the National Childminding Association (NCMA) for a further three years.

Childminders work in their own homes, providing care and education for children of all ages, from very young babies to teenagers. By law, all childminders who care for children under the age of eight must be registered with Ofsted and are subjected to regular inspections in the same way that nurseries and pre-schools are.

A childminding network is a group of registered childminders supported by a network co-ordinator who is employed to manage the childminders and work with parents and local organizations that use the network's services. To become part of Herefordshire Council's network, childminders have to go through the National Childminding Association's quality assurance scheme 'Children Come First.' The scheme involves learning about children's development, the importance of learning through play and how this can be stimulated to give children the best possible start in life. Once accredited, network childminders can offer parents and carers foundation stage education, providing them with flexible choices over where they access their nursery education fund entitlement.

Herefordshire's network and the way it is managed is inspected by the National Childminding Association (NCMA) who visit every three years to make sure the standards remain constant in the network for re-accreditation The network has just been given the thumbs up for a further three years; the NCMA assessor reported that Herefordshire's childminder network is strong and delivers a high quality service to the childminders, children and families of Herefordshire. The assessor also noted that links have been established and developed with the county's nine children's centres, and that services provided are professional and developed specifically to meet the needs of local families.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, ' "Herefordshire Council's childminder network is growing from strength to strength. We now have 35 members and as more people than ever before want to become childminders, many from professional backgrounds, we anticipate the network will continue to grow. We are clearly delighted that the network has been re-accredited. By making sure we have a strong professional body of childminders in Herefordshire, we are able to provide parents and carers with choice.

Looking after very young children is becoming a career option for many as learning and development during the early years becomes more widely understood. Three of the county's childminders have gone through a system of training and support to turn them into early years professionals and are able to provide support to other childminders as a result.

As children grow and develop, we find that many parents and carers continue to employ their childminders. They build up long lasting relationships with the children they look after staying with them as they grow from babies to young adults needing help with homework at secondary school.'


A group of Herefordshire childminders during a weekend at Dinedor Outdoor Centre experiencing outdoor play and looking at how outdoor activities can be used to enhance child development.

WIDEMARSH STREET WORKS ON TARGET FOR COMPLETION IN NOVEMBER

Herefordshire Council's major refurbishment of Widemarsh Street in Hereford is still on target for completion before the start of the 2010 Christmas shopping period.

Contractors Alun Griffiths Contracting Ltd started work on 22nd February and will complete Phase One of the scheme by 23rd April. Central Networks are due to complete their mains renewal works in Maylords Street before Easter and will then be completing the final two phases of their scheme. During works by both Alun Griffiths Contracting Ltd and Central Networks, a larger number of services than expected have been uncovered in footways which have led to delays in completion of Phase One.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'All statutory undertakers were contacted in advance of the scheme and I am pleased Central Networks have been replacing their system in the street. Having now uncovered British Telecom's equipment, they have also made a decision to upgrade their services now and will be working alongside both Alun Griffiths and Central Networks to carry this out.

We are investing a substantial amount of money and time into making this a street to be proud of by using natural stone paving materials throughout and making it a fitting gateway to the new Edgar Street Grid retail area as well. I am also pleased that Hereford will benefit from improved electrical and communication networks.

I would also like to thank traders, residents and the general public for their co-operation during the works and for their continued support.'


ALUMINIUM STOLEN IN ROTHERWAS BURGLARY

Hereford Police are appealing for information following a commercial burglary on an industrial estate in the city in which a quantity of aluminium was stolen.

The burglary occurred between midday and 8.30pm on Good Friday, 2nd April, when thieves forced entry in to an engineering premises on the Rotherwas Industrial Estate and removed twenty aluminium casts, valued at around £3,500. The casts were spherical in shape, weighing about 25kgs each.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity on the Rotherwas Estate on Good Friday or who may know the current whereabouts of the property. Anybody with any information that can help should contact PC Hannah Croft at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.


ROAD CLOSURE IN CREDENHILL

Herefordshire Council is warning motorists travelling along the C1099 through Credenhill village on Friday, 16th April that essential road works are taking place that day.

The council's contractors Amey are carrying out resurfacing works along this stretch of the road during the morning and the works should be completed by early afternoon. Businesses will be open as usual and diversion signs will be in place.

Motorists are advised to take care on all routes and comply with warning signs which are there for everyone's safety.


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