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26th May 2010 NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION.......
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MEL RECEIVES FIRST JOHN KYRLE COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD

Whilst out enjoying the John Kyrle birthday celebrations on Saturday, we heard an announcement that two presentations were about to be made.

The first presentation was a donation to the Hope Trust, a local charity that was set up to give help and support to the children and families of those suffering from a life threatening illness. On behalf of the Ross Gazette, Editor Jo Scriven presented a cheque to young Hope volunteer, Rory Trevethan.

As many of you will be aware, John Kyrle, the 'Man of Ross' was a kind and generous man who gave much to the town of Ross-on-Wye, from money and bread to the poor and needy, to legal advice and a beautiful place to enjoy, the Prospect Gardens. In memory of John Kyrle's community spirit, the Association of Ross Traders decided that they would like to present an award to a person who worked voluntarily for the good of the town and selected Ross Town Carnival Chairman, Mel Hodges to be the first recipient of the John Kyrle Community Spirit Award.

We have known Mel for many years and we are quite well aware of the amount of work he does for the community. He has been Chairman of the Carnival Committee for many years and along with the rest of the committee works hard to ensure that the town enjoys a fantastic carnival on the first Saturday of each August.

Mel and Iris Price ran the first ever discos for the kids at the Larruperz Centre. Mel also works with the Christmas Carnival Committee who arrange for Santa to visit Ross Market House every year to give all of the children in Ross-on-Wye a pre Christmas present. Mel also coaches the local girls football team.

When we at Wyenot News congratulated Mel on his award, he said, 'I would like to thank the person or persons who nominated me for this award. I would also like to thank each and every one of the people who have accompanied me along the way.' He went on to say that there are many people who work tirelessly for the town, from the lady who makes costumes for the carnivals, the tea ladies and cake makers who help event organizers get through the day and many others who quietly do their bit for Ross-on-Wye and he would gladly share this award with them.

We know you're not in it for awards, Mel, or any kind of recognition but we have to say that this is well deserved.


Mel Hodges receives the first John Kyrle Award for Community Spirit.

Jo Scriven presents a cheque to Rory Trevethan of the Hope Trust.

VOTE FOR YOUR NEW ROSS TOWN COUNCILLOR ON THURSDAY

Following the resignation of former Mayor, John Davies from Ross Town Council an election is to be held on Thursday, 27th May to fill the vacancy.

The following candidates are standing:

Mrs. (Phyllis) Margaret Lucas, Conservative
Mr. John Stuart Gasston, Independent
Caroline Utting, Liberal Democrat.

The vacancy is for Ross West Ward and the polling stations will be at Brampton Abbotts C of E Primary School and Ross-on-Wye Bowling Club. The stations will be open for voting from 7am until 10pm.

In order to save the town some money it was decided not to issue new polling cards.


WEST MERCIA POLICE LAUNCH COP CARDS

The hugely successful Cop Cards are back, bigger and better than ever. The final five in the set were released on Monday, 24th May so if you haven't started to collect them, get your roller skates on before they all disappear.

Cop Cards is a set of 25 limited edition collectable cards aimed at youngsters aged 7 to 14 years and each card features information about a different role within your local police service. They also feature important messages on everything from internet and road safety to bullying and stranger danger advice. In addition to this, one of the cards will even carry a special web address which, when entered, will allow access to a unique web page and content especially for our Cop Cards collectors.

Available from local community support officers and your nearest police station, the cards are a fun way for children to get to know their local policing teams while learning more about the force and how to stay safe. Herefordshire's children can pick up these cards at Bath Street Hereford, Leominster, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Peterchurch, Ledbury, South-Wye, Bromyard police stations..

There are half a million of West Mercia Police's collectable cards to be collected. The cards were officially launched on April 26th, with the second batch being released across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire on Monday, 10th May.

Start collecting these new, fun cards today!

If you would like further information please contact Herefordshire Police on 0300 333 3000 or your local Police Station. Alternatively, visit the West Mercia Police web site at www.westmercia.police.uk.


THE VIRGIN WIDOW

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Book lovers will be delighted to learn that local author Anne O'Brien will be talking about her writing and signing copies of her latest novel 'Virgin Widow' at Ross Library on Friday, 11th June.

The story is about Anne Neville, whose name does not, even for lovers of historical fiction, spring readily to mind apart from her fleeting appearance in Shakespeare's Richard III where Richard, complete with Shakespearean hump and limp, woos her over the corpse of King Henry VI. Not the most promising start to a marriage.

Local author Anne O'Brien draws on the fascinating relationship between Anne and Richard as the basis for her new novel Virgin Widow and her evening talk at Ross and Leominster libraries, as she explores this exciting period of British history, the War of the Roses.

The daughter of Warwick the King Maker, Anne Neville was betrothed twice as a child to Richard of Gloucester, the future Richard III. When her father rebelled against Richard's brother, the Yorkist King Edward IV, she was married off to the rival claimant Prince Edward of Lancaster; but his mother Margaret of Anjou declared that the marriage was never to be consummated.

After Edward's death (at Richard's hands?), Anne found herself a prisoner on the 'wrong side' in the war; her father dead, her mother trapped in a convent and betrayed by her elder sister. Her only hope: rescue by Richard.

Anne O'Brien is a former history teacher who lives with her husband in an 18th century cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches. Virgin Widow was published by MIRA as a Paperback Original on May 21 2010. Anne O'Brien will also be appearing at Leominster Library on Friday, 18th June. Ticket cost £3.


COUNTY POLICE OFFICERS AND STAFF COMMENDED FOR THEIR WORK

West Mercia's Chief Constable, Paul West paid tribute to Herefordshire officers and staff at the Divisional Awards Ceremony which was held on Tuesday, 18th May. During the ceremony, a range of awards were presented to regular police officers, support staff and Community Support Officers to mark the excellent, outstanding or courageous service that they have provided.

Chief Constable West said, 'The stories that you hear at this event never cease to be uplifting and it shows the quality of policing in West Mercia. Not only do we hear wonderful things about the Police Officers but also about the Police staff such as Norman Jones. It is good to recognize the breadth of things. The Awards show the dangers that Police face every day. The reality is that all sorts of crime, including violent crime have dropped and Hereford remains one of the safest places in the country.'

Superintendent Kevin Purcell said, 'These people were recognized by their colleagues that they should receive the commendations. You will hear this evening of such things as courage, bravery, compassion, resilience, use of communication skills, tenacity, professionalism and dedication to duty. The awards have all stemmed from a colleagues recognition that these people should be awarded with their commendations. Crimes have dropped to 10,000 a year and there has been a fall in house burglaries to 61 per cent. We are working hard to further engage the community.'

Councillor Bernard Hunt, Chair of the Police Authority for Herefordshire agreed with Superintendent Purcell, saying, 'We all came here tonight so we can express our thanks to those being commended.'

The following were among those who were commended at the ceremony.

Divisional Commendations were awarded to: PC Michael Edwards who has been commended for two specific events on two dates, for his prompt decisive action. The first date was on January 28th 2009 when he was on patrol in Ledbury by himself. He was called to attend a house with two bodies in it. He found two young girls had hanged themselves. He immediately lifted them down and commenced CPR on one of the girls who had lost consciousness. On the second occasion, February 12th 2009, he was involved with the same address when he went to assist colleagues after one of the girls went missing. Unfortunately the girl was dead and he arranged for supervisors and specialist staff to come and tend to the scene. PC Edwards has served with West Mercia Police for 29 years.

PC John Meek has been commended for his courage in tackling a known violent offender whilst on foot patrol. He has also been commended for his resilience in restraining the man for 25 minutes during a struggle until sufficient help arrived. He has also been commended for the manner in which he achieved this. The man was remanded in custody for 4 weeks.

PC Tonya Barnett has been commended for her communication in negotiation and personal resilience. The incident that took place involved a disturbed male who was trying to commit suicide by jumping into the river Wye. Even though PC Barnett was not a trained negotiator she managed to develop a rapport and continue to talk to the man so he did not jump. The man was very distraught and repeatedly climbed over the railings of the bridge to the extent that the members of the Fire Service and Police believed he was a genuine and immediate threat to himself. PC Barnett's ability to talk to the man was so good that she managed to talk him closer to a Police vehicle where he was detained safely.

PC Keith Davies has been commended for bravery and resilience whilst arresting a known and violent offender. The incident happened on November 15th 2009. The offender was spotted by PC Davies committing a theft at a local supermarket and was assaulted by the offender when he tried to evade capture. The offender was later charged with theft, assaulting a police officer and in breach of a CRASBO and was subsequently remanded in custody before being put before the court.

PC James Bullock has been commended for tenacity, dedication and excellent detective ability, for securing the prosecution, conviction and sentencing of a dangerous drugs supplier. The supplier got a sentence of nine years.

Acting Inspector David Boote has been commended for his courage and selfless devotion to duty in saving a man intent on committing suicide on August 27th 2009. He managed to hold the man by one arm as dead-weight for a lengthy period until passing taxi drivers stopped to help him pull the man to safety.

Mr Norman Jones has been commended for his dedication and professionalism in ensuring a quality service delivery to the people of Ross on Wye. Mr Jones has a very clerical role which is integral with helping the police with their duties. His efforts really do 'make the difference.

PC Victoria Turner has been commended for her outstanding work on her youth engagement, school liaison and community projects with partners agencies throughout Herefordshire.

The Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor, Anna Toon said after her first official duty, 'I am so impressed with the contributions by the Police Officers, Specials and members of the public and their contributions. It would be so nice for more of the public to hear these stories of what the police are doing just because so many people do not see the officers and their work. It is rather like the principle of an iceberg, behind the police on the street there is a massive team behind them helping to close the loop and get convictions.'


PC Michael Edwards, Mr. Norman Jones, PC John Meek, Acting Inspector Anthony Boote, PC Tonya Barnett and PC Vicky Turner.

WANT TO BE SPECIAL? - YOUR APPLICATION IS INVITED

Special Constables are special people and if you would like to join them, why not pop along to High Town today, Wednesday, 26th May where the Local Policing Team are holding a surgery?

Special Constables are volunteers who carry out a variety of roles alongside regular officers and have the same powers as the police. The role is a part-time one with a minimum of four hours a week, normally at weekends or evenings. It is not an easy job to be a Special but you would be an essential part of the local policing team carrying out a whole range of policing duties, including foot patrol, road safety initiatives, and house to house enquiries. By becoming a Special Constable you can learn more about policing, show your community that you care, meet new people and enjoy new experiences.

You must be at least 18 years old to apply and you must be a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or, if not have leave to enter the UK free of restrictions, or you must have been a resident in the UK for at least three years. Specials are unpaid volunteers who are entitled to certain allowances including travel to and from your place of duty and boot allowance. Your uniform will be provided free of charge and you will be given all the training you require to handle even the most difficult situations.

Special Constable Martin Stephenson said about being a Special, 'I get a lot out of being a Special because I try to get involved as much as possible and that is clearly appreciated. Some situations are very demanding and require every bit of tact and confidence that you have. Other officers are always willing to help and their guidance is invaluable.'

Peter Trueman, the Special Constables Recruitment Officer said, 'We are actively recruiting Specials across Herefordshire. We would welcome applications from members of the community.'

If you would like further information on becoming a Special Constable, please call the recruitment hotline on 01905 747174. Alternatively visit the West Mercia Police web site at www.westmercia.police.uk or go to High Town to meet the recruitment officer.


TAAG PRIZE WINNERS REVEALED

Herefordshire Primary School pupils have been awarded prizes as part of a recent graffiti campaign by Amey, Herefordshire Council's Community Protection Team, Safer Herefordshire and West Mercia Police.

The TAAG Graffiti Campaign (Targeted Action Against Graffiti) which ran in February and March, removed areas of graffiti throughout Herefordshire. The campaign also raised awareness of how to report graffiti along with removal costs and legal implications. A colouring competition was also held for Primary School pupils, which resulted in an overwhelming response from across the county. After a difficult judging session, five lucky winners were chosen from the numerous wonderful entries. The four runners-up each received a 30 Odeon cinema voucher whilst the overall winner was awarded a 100 family Go Ape voucher at a special ceremony held at Luston Primary School on Monday, 17th May.

Jim McLaughlin, Chief Inspector for West Mercia Police said, 'It was a pleasure to present these five outstanding pupils with their well deserved prizes. The standard of entries was incredibly high and as such they should feel enormously proud of their achievements. It was also an important aim of the TAAG Graffiti Campaign to educate children around graffiti in a fun and informal way.'

He continued, 'Herefordshire is already a safe county in which to live, work and visit and by working in partnership, West Mercia Police and Herefordshire Council are striving to reduce antisocial behaviour even further.'


Chief Inspector, Jim McLaughlin with the five lucky winners who are, (L-R) Charlotte Crowe (Stoke Prior Primary School), Holly Porter (Longtown Primary School), Olivia Kerr (Luston Primary School), Ronnie Adams Cooper (Leominster Junior School) and Tea Biddle (Luston Primary School).

DR ANDREW WAKEFIELD STRUCK OFF MEDICAL REGISTER

Dr Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 study linking the MMR vaccine to autism and bowel disease was discredited, has been struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council. The medical council found him guilty of serious professional misconduct over the way he carried out his research for the MMR study.

In the light of this news, NHS Herefordshire is urging parents to make sure their children are up to date with MMR, the vaccination which protects against measles, mumps and rubella as following the Wakefield study, the uptake of MMR vaccinations plummeted and the number of measles cases rose dramatically, while numerous studies were carried out on MMR to test its safety. None of the research found any links between the vaccination and autism or bowel disease.

The uptake rate in Herefordshire is around 80 per cent and NHS Herefordshire hopes that it can raise this to 95 per cent which will break the cycle of the transmission of measles, mumps and rubella. A good example of this is smallpox where the vaccination programme has been successful and the disease no longer exists. There are very few children who are unable to have the MMR vaccination. Only those with immunosuppressed diseases such as cancer should not have the vaccination.

Dr Akeem Ali, Director Public Health NHS Herefordshire said, 'Uptake of the MMR vaccination in Herefordshire and across the UK was reduced by the Wakefield study. Since the study was discredited, uptake has risen, but we do need to increase it further. Choosing to give your child MMR will protect you, yourself and your community and will help protect those few people and children who cannot have the vaccination.'

The first dose of MMR vaccine is administered to children at 13 months and second dose at three years four months through GP surgeries. It is important to note that two doses are needed to fully protect your child against measles, mumps and rubella. It is never too late to have MMR and young people and adults are also welcome to have the vaccination. Please contact your GP to find out if you or your child are up to date with the MMR vaccination.

MMR has been surrounded by myths such as the vaccination cannot be administered to anyone with an egg allergy. This is completely untrue. Visit the myth buster and find out more about MMR by visiting http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/MMR/Pages/FAQs.aspx


JESSE SWORN IN AS NEW MP FOR HEREFORD AND SOUTH HEREFORDSHIRE

Jesse Norman was sworn in as the new MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire last week, and took his seat for the first time in the House of Commons.

The traditional ceremony was presided over by the Speaker, the Right Honourable John Bercow MP, and carried out by the clerks of the House. The original Oath of Allegiance dates back at least to Magna Carta 1215, and in its modern form to the Promissory Oaths Act 1868.

It reads 'I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.'

Commenting afterwards, Jesse said, 'It is an awe-inspiring moment to enter the Chamber of the House of Commons, the Mother of Parliaments, and to be sworn in as the new Member for Hereford and South Herefordshire. I only hope I can be worthy of the office.'

Congratulations Jesse.


Jesse Norman being sworn in as the new MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire.

CRUCIAL CREW HELPING CHILDREN STAY SAFE

Over 1800 ten and eleven year olds from 74 primary schools will converge on Hereford's Racecourse next month during a fortnight of workshops, games and lessons with a safety theme. The event, which has been running for more than 14 years, is organized this year by Herefordshire Council's healthy schools team in partnership with the police, red cross, fire service, HeartStart, school nursing service, trading standards and Herefordshire Housing, amongst others.

As children prepare to embark on their secondary education, the event prepares them for some of the issues they may face over the next few years as they grow from being children to young people. For example, alcohol and drug awareness, road safety, personal safety, valuing difference and diversity and danger in the home, are just some of the sessions they will attend. The sessions will take place every day from Tuesday, 8th to Friday, 18th June from 9.30am until 2.30pm with an hour for lunch.

This year's event will include lots of lunchtime activities in the spirit of Change4Life, the national programme which aims to get people eating better, moving more and living longer. Hereford United will be there with their football in the community squad, Halo Leisure is bringing dance mats and the Whitecross gym bus will be available for children and staff to work out on. For those who fancy something a bit different, cheering leading sessions are being organized Partner organizations will have exhibitions up providing information and lots of freebies for children and staff to collect. To prepare for the event, the council's healthy schools team will be getting curriculum packs out to schools with suggested activities and discussion topics leading up the event.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'This is a big partnership activity bringing organizations together to provide an exciting fortnight for the county's year six children. The Crucial Crew event is a great way of getting across some key messages in a fun way - children are encouraged to participate in discussions and debates, ask questions and understand some of the pressures they may face over the next few years. We want all our children to grow into self confident individuals who will be able to make well informed decisions for themselves, but know where to go to if they need help.'

The event takes place over a fortnight in order to accommodate all those wishing to attend, although each pupil will spend one day there.


BROMYARD PUPILS WIN ENERGY CHALLENGE

Two pupils from St Peter's Primary School, Bromyard, have shown they really know how to reduce the impact they have on the environment by winning top prizes in a school energy challenge supported by Herefordshire Council.

Twenty schools in the county took part in the My Energy Saving Passport challenge aimed at making pupils more aware of how much energy they use at home and how it can be reduced. Energy consultants Hestia provided the passports for pupils to fill in and also provided the winners with prizes of science kits and torches. At St Peter's Primary School, Year 4 pupil Ethan Potter and Year 6 pupil Caitlin McLoughlin received the top prizes.

Harry Fitch, Herefordshire Council's energy efficiency officer said, 'We have been working with a number of schools to raise awareness and help them better understand about saving energy at home and in schools and are delighted these two pupils have done so well. The challenge involved them taking the passports home to see if any lights were left on or appliances were left on standby and also to take electricity meter readings. The idea is also to encourage children to influence their parents by reducing energy usage.'

Councillor Phil Cutter, Herefordshire Council's energy champion said, 'By getting people to reduce their energy usage, this will help the environment and contribute towards lessening the impact of climate change, help to reduce bills for heating and lighting homes and also ensure youngsters understand how precious resources such as oil and gas are and that they need to be used carefully.'

The scheme is now to be run in a further 10 schools in 2010 / 2011. Mark Hamilton, from energy consultants Hestia said, 'We have been delighted with the response from pupils towards the initiative and really feel that pupil power is an excellent way to get parents to change their habits as well.'


Harry Fitch, Councillor Phil Cutter and Philip Tamuro of Herefordshire Council with Mark Hamilton of Hestia, Caitlin McLoughlin (Year 6) and Ethan Potter (Year 4).

Councillor Phil Cutter presents the top prize of a torch and science kit to Caitlin McLoughlin. Mark Hamilton of Hestia presents the other top prize to Ethan Potter.

SCHOOL PUPILS TO BE CHALLENGED ON DIVERSITY

Herefordshire's school pupils are being challenged to think about diversity and stereotyping in a new play called 'Different' which will be touring the county's high schools in June and July. Funded by Herefordshire Council's healthy schools team, 2xl youth projects have put together a one hour piece that explores the diversity of school culture and immigration. The show will tour years seven and eight (11-13 year olds) across the county and in the autumn term, the pupils will receive follow up workshops to explore and discuss some of the themes addressed in the performance.

Different is a creative mix of washing lines, birthday cards and knickers and is billed as an innovative piece of theatre exploring the beautiful diversity in the world around us. The show consists of a montage of tales and experiences: the audience will hear true accounts of those who have moved to the UK and watch as prejudice is tackled by a rugby player! Two actors multi-role all kind of diverse people in different situations, only to discover we are all the same underneath.

'Learning about other cultures and accepting difference is an important part of every child's development,' said Kim Goddard, healthy schools co-ordinator. 'We want all our children to be aware of the world around them and learn to embrace and celebrate difference. It's not just about culture, but a whole range of other differences and stereotypes which can mislead young people and give them a flawed view of the world which can limit their own learning and behaviour.

Drama is a great way of challenging pupils' stereotypes and 2xl have a track record of delivering successful projects that change views and broaden perceptions. Their thought provoking performances encourage pupils to think beyond their own experiences and put themselves in the shoes of other people who have different experiences of life.'


AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE YOUR FINDS INDENTIFIED

Herefordshire Council's heritage services team is offering residents a chance to get their 'treasures' identified at a special Finds Identification Session which is to be held at Ledbury Heritage Centre on Wednesday, 2nd June. The session will run from 1pm until 3pm and Herefordshire Council's Finds Liaison Officer, Peter Reavill will be identifying any 'treasures' people have found, ranging from porcelain to coins to jewellery. If the item is not archaeological, residents can 'ask the geologist' who can help identify fossils, rocks and pebbles.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw of Herefordshire Council said, 'Many people find items in their gardens or when out metal detecting and want to find out what they are, how old they are and how to care for them. This session not only offers people the chance to get their items identified but they will also be recorded so we can continue to build on our knowledge of the geology and history of the county and the people who have lived here.'

Please note that the team will not be able to provide valuations and people are urged to telephone 01432 260692 for further details.


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