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8th September 2010 ROSS QUAKERS NOW FRIENDS WITH ZIMBABWE.....

The people of the Friends Meeting House in Ross-on-Wye have been forging links with Quakers in Zimbabwe and have been busily knitting 300 teddy bears and 300 pencil cases to send to the school out there.

The Ross Quakers enjoyed a visit from the newly appointed director of the project, his wife and two children last weekend, when they shared lunch at Bright's Orchard with other Friends on Saturday afternoon and fellowship at the Friends' Meeting House on Sunday morning. The new director will be moving out to Zimbabwe in November.


Hand knitted Teddy bears and hand made pencil cases which will be sent out to a school in Zimbabwe.

8th September 2010 QUAKERS OPEN THEIR DOORS AS PART OF
HERITAGE OPEN DAYS.....

Ross Quakers have been meeting on their present site since around 1675, which was very early on in the founding of the Quaker movement. The present Friends Meeting House was built c.1804 and is of significant heritage interest. Local residents and visitors to Ross now have the opportunity to take a look around the building and the burial ground to the rear as part of the Heritage Open Days event, which is running this week.

On Thursday, 9th September, the Meeting House will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm. At 12.30pm there will be 15 minutes set aside for worship, giving people the chance to appreciate the Quaker Movement. At 7pm, John Powell will be giving a talk on the History of Quakers in Ross on Wye.

On Friday, 10th September, the opening hours are the same, 10am until 4pm and at 7pm, Mary Sinclair-Powell will be giving giving a talk entitled 'Tales of Old Ross.'

Saturday's event will run from 10am until 6pm, combined with 'Historic Churches Ride & Stride.' A walk will begin from Ross Heritage Centre at 2pm and will finish with tea at the Meeting House.

On Sunday the building will be open from 12 Noon until 4pm. The Quakers meet for Worship from 10.30am until 11.30am and visitors are very welcome to attend. There will be an exhibition of original Quaker bonnets, free leaflets and activities for children and refreshments will be served throughout the event.


8th September 2010 PEDESTRIAN DIES AFTER COLLISION WITH CAR.....

A Gloucestershire woman was pronounced dead in hospital following a collision with a Citroen Xsara Picasso on the night of Friday, 3rd September. The vehicle was travelling along the B4229 from the direction of Goodrich towards Kern Bridge, Ross on Wye. Mrs. Rosemary Thomas, aged 72, was walking with her husband and a friend when, it is believed, she made an attempt to cross the road. The driver of the Citroen was not injured.

Inspector Dave Perridge, from Force Operations Support Team said, 'The incident happened just before 9.30pm on Friday night in a rural location so it would have been dark but there may still be witnesses who haven't yet come forward and spoken to police. We would urge anyone with information to contact officers at Hereford on 0300 333 3000.' PC Edward Croft and Sergeant Darren Godsall are the officers dealing with this investigation.

The road was closed for several hours and reopened at approximately 3am on Saturday, 4th September. The coroner has been informed.


8th September 2010 WALKERS ARE WELCOME PRODUCE NEW TOWN MAP.....

The Ross Walkers are Welcome Group does more than organize an annual Walking Festival, it promotes the town at every opportunity. The latest example of this is the case of the 'Incredible Disappearing Map.'

For many years, the Ross Tourist Information Centre has been providing maps of the town to visitors and locals and earlier this year it looked like the highly popular map would disappear, as Herefordshire Council had no money available for another print run. So Ross Walkers are Welcome Group came to the rescue! The Group works very closely with the Ross TiC and decided to use some of the locally raised money to pay for the printing of more maps.

A new improved publication was designed, printed on heavy weight glossy paper, featuring the Walkers are Welcome logo and a photograph of Ross on the cover. With the town map on the inside, the Ross Buggy Route is shown, together with the sections of the Herefordshire Trail and Wye Valley Walk that pass through the town. The back cover features the town centre in a larger scale - a very useful improvement. Two thousand of the new maps were placed in the Tic in May this year and proved so popular that another 1000 have been printed.

For more information on the Ross Walkers are Welcome Group, its plans and the walking festival, please contact the Chairman, Sam Phillips, on 01989-563874 or visit the Group's web site at www.ross-on-wyewalkersarewelcome.co.uk


8th September 2010 ZOE TO TACKLE MOUNT KILIMANJARO TO HELP HEROES.....

Zoe Morrison, an administrator in NHS Herefordshire's public experience team, is taking on a daunting challenge to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity this weekend. On Friday, 10th September, Zoe will attempt to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro which, standing at 19,341 feet it is the world's tallest free-standing mountain. This will be no mean feat for Zoe who admits she's never done anything like this before.

Zoe said, 'I wanted to do something for Help for Heroes whose amazing work helps our injured soldiers. Given that my husband is a soldier and has recently completed a 6 month tour of Afghanistan, it's a cause that is very close to my heart I'm expecting it to be tough, but I'm doing everything I can to make sure I am properly prepared. Knowing that my friends and family are supporting me every step of the way will keep me going.'

Zoe has set herself a target to raise 4,000 and says if she manages to raise more than this she'll be over the moon. Any donation, large or small, towards the target is welcome and anyone who wishes to sponsor Zoe can do so by visiting www.bmycharity.com/zoemorrison

Euan McPherson, head of the public experience team at NHS Herefordshire said, 'I'm so proud of Zoe in even considering this challenge and I have every confidence that she will succeed. Everyone at NHS Herefordshire is right behind her.'


Zoe Morrison (right), pictured training with her friend Charley Heighton (left) who will be completing the challenge with her.

8th September 2010 HEREFORD GETS READY FOR THE START OF h.ART WEEK.....

Herefordshire Council is getting ready for this year's big art event, h.Art, by holding the largest arts and crafts market to date in Hereford city centre this coming Saturday.

'We've grown little by little til now we have over 40 artists and crafts people offering handmade, affordable gifts and artwork,' says Andy Dawson of Herefordshire Council. 'Herefordshire is fortunate to have lots of talented groups and individuals who contribute to what is a thriving art and craft industry across the county. There will be all sorts of creative works on display and for sale at the market including weaving, glass work, jewellery making, silver smithing, local photography and ceramics. People like to buy original artwork for presents, and the variety of prices charged means there's quite literally something for everyone.'

The market marks the start of this year's h.Art week, which runs from Saturday 11th until Sunday, 19th September. h.Art is a countywide open studios event, which gives residents exclusive access to artists' studios, workshops and special exhibitions. The council hopes, that once again this year's market is well supported by residents who might be looking for some early Christmas gifts that are original and support the local economy.


8th September 2010 GET ADVICE ON FUNDING AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY.....

County organizations in need of funding are being invited to a number of drop in sessions being run by Herefordshire Council which will help them find out how to get hold of it. The authority's project development team will be available at libraries across the county until the middle of October to give out advice and point groups in the right direction.

'Voluntary organizations that rely on funding play important roles in our communities,' said project development officer, Hannah McSherry. 'Very often the funding is there, but the groups either aren't aware of it, or, if they are, they simply don't know how to bid for the cash.'

Recently her team helped Whitchurch and Ganarew parish council to apply for funding through the Big Lottery's Awards for funding to buy table tennis equipment, and Bromyard's Conquest Theatre recently benefited from their advice when it applied successfully to the Elmley Foundation to buy new theatre equipment. The drop-in sessions are to be held at the following libraries:

Leominster - Friday, 10th September from 11am-3pm,
Kington - Tuesday, 14th September from Noon until 3pm,
Colwall - Friday, 17th September from 10am until 1pm,
Weobley - Thursday, 23rd September from 3pm until 6pm,
Belmont - Friday, 24th September from 10am until 1pm,
Peterchurch - Wednesday, 29th September from Noon until 3pm,
Ross-on-Wye - Friday, 1st October from 10am until 1pm,
Leintwardine - Tuesday, 5th October from 10am until 1pm,
Bromyard - Thursday, 7th October from 10am until 1pm,
Hereford - Wednesday, 13th October from 10am until 1pm.

There is no need to book an appointment. Representatives from groups and organizations can simply turn up and speak to the team.


8th September 2010 TEENAGER KILLED IN COLLISION.....

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward who may have seen a fatal road traffic collision which took place at Peterchurch on Friday, 3rd September.

Police were called at approximately 11.30pm on Friday night to the collision on the B4348 which involved a John Deere tractor, a Vauxhall Corsa and a Fiat Punto. An 18 year old lad who was a front seat passenger in the Vauxhall Corsa was pronounced dead at the scene. The young man has since been named as Jack Slater Mackenzie, who had recently lived in the Peterchurch area. The male driver of the Corsa was taken to hospital with spinal injuries. The tractor driver was not injured and neither was the driver of the Punto.

The road was blocked for several hours and reopened on Saturday morning. The coroner has been informed

Inspector Dave Perridge, from the Force Operations Support Team said, 'An investigation into the incident is ongoing and anyone with information for police should contact 0300 333 3000 and ask for officers at Hereford.'


8th September 2010 HEREFORDSHIRE NEEDS MORE FOSTER CARERS.....

Herefordshire Council is stepping up a campaign to recruit local foster carers who want to make a difference to a local child's life. The UK's leading fostering charity, the Fostering Network, reports that the number of children needing care has risen across the country yet the number of carers available to look after children has stood still.

Herefordshire Council has around 75 fostering households across the county providing care for a range of children from new-borns to teenagers, offering a mixture of long term and short term care, but more are needed to meet a growing demand. As a result, the council has organized a foster care open day which will take place at Moor House on Thursday, 23rd September to encourage those interested to find out more.

'We need to train and recruit around ten new fostering households so that we can provide homes for local children within the county,' said Stephanie Rowles, fostering manager at Herefordshire Council. She continued, 'It's really important that the children find care within the county so that they can continue with their education, keep in contact with their friends and live their lives with as little disruption as possible. Whatever the circumstances, a child requiring foster care has already been through a difficult time and we need to provide them with as much stability as possible.'

Fostering in Herefordshire has changed significantly over the years, with many carers boosting their professional development, embarking on training, and receiving higher rates of pay as a result. All foster carers recruited by the council receive comprehensive training, including opportunities to undertake a Level 3 NVQ or BTEC qualification.

Once a child is placed with them, they receive a fostering fee together with a number of allowances for clothing and holidays, along with reimbursements for travel expenses. Support and help is available through direct contact with a supervising social worker and they have access to a range of activities and supporting events through a network of around 120 other Herefordshire carers.

To encourage potential carers to come and talk to the council's fostering team and discuss what they may be able to offer a child in need, two information sessions have been organized for 23rd September. The first will run from 1pm until 2.30pm and the second from 5.30pm until 7pm. Social workers and existing foster carers will be available at the sessions to chat openly and informally about what it's really like to be a foster carer in Herefordshire. Foster care managers will also be around to talk through the process of fostering and explain the range of opportunities available.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'We want all our children to be well looked after, safe and happy and we rely on recruiting the right people to help us achieve this. There are lots of rumours around about who can and who can't foster; people are frequently surprised to learn that they can foster and have a lot to offer a child.

We want to recruit Herefordshire carers who are from a range of different backgrounds so that we can embrace the diversity of the county's communities. Our fostering team are keen to talk to people who believe they can find some space in their lives and want to make a real difference to a child's life.'

The council is urging those interested to ring the fostering team on 01432 383240 for further information about the sessions.


8th September 2010 ROAD SAFETY GB ADVISE ON CHILD SAFETY SEATS.....

More than eight out of ten child safety seats in the UK are incorrectly fitted and the Good Egg Guide is to highlight the issue to local parents and carers. Road Safety GB (RSGB), the road safety organization that represents over 200 Local Authority Road Safety Teams across the UK, is bringing its major national road safety initiative to West Mercia and the Marches and will be running educational clinics in towns and cities across the region.

The Good Egg campaign is designed to ensure that babies and children are properly restrained whilst travelling in the car, by showing parents and carers the correct way to fit in-car child safety seats. This is important because:

An unrestrained child can be killed in an impact with speeds as low as 5mph.
If properly restrained a child is three times less likely to sustain a head injury in a collision than an unrestrained child.
In 2008 more than 5,000 children under twelve were injured as car passengers on British roads.

The initiative started on Monday, 6th September sees road safety professionals from Herefordshire Council's road safety team hosting free educational car-seat check clinics, which will demonstrate how to fit various types of safety seat, and distribute the Good Egg Guide. Parents and carers can find out where clinics will be taking place by visiting the Road Safety GB Good Egg website www.protectchildgb.org.uk. The clinics will be held at the Co-op in Dishley Street, Leominster, on Thursday, 9th September, at Morrison's in Hereford city on Friday, 10th September and at the Belmont Tesco store in Hereford on Saturday, 11th September.

Ann Mann, Herefordshire Council's Road Safety Officer said, 'We are very pleased to be able to bring The Good Egg initiative to Herefordshire and to be working with some of the experts in the fitting of child car seats. When we have carried out similar events, we found one of the main problems was that although the child car seats were belted in correctly, the slack had not been taken off and therefore in a collision the seats would not be secure on impact. There were also occasions when major adjustments were required to secure the seats, for example, to reduce the risk of buckle crunching. This is when on impact the buckle would open or would break allowing the seat to be released.'

Alan Kennedy, the Chair of Road Safety GB said, 'We're really excited to be able to announce the launch of Road Safety GB's national campaign in Herefordshire. Children and infants are our most vulnerable road users and an ill-fitted car seat can mean the difference between life and death. The campaign that launched on Monday, 6th of September will run throughout England this autumn, and over this period we look forward to helping mums, dads and other carers make sure that their children are safe in the car.

With sponsorship by Arnold Clark Automobiles together with the support of Local Authorities, Fire and Rescue Services and other key partners; the Good Egg campaign will help to raise awareness of the risks to children being placed in car seats that are not fitted safely. The Good Egg Initiative has been running in Scotland since 2001 and has helped reduce the number of in-car child casualties significantly. By being a 'Good Egg' parents and carers will be helping to keep their little ones safe in the car.'

Sir Arnold Clark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Arnold Clark Automobiles said, 'We're very pleased to sponsor the Good Egg Initiative and help make a difference in reducing the number of child casualties on the roads. Parents and carers often don't realize that different cars require different types of safety seat and often think that their child is properly protected when this might not be the case. The Good Egg clinics ensure that all attendees get authoritative advice on the best type of in-car child safety seat for their vehicle and the proper method of installation. The clinics will also distribute the Good Egg guide, a manual which provides detailed take-home guidance on all the important issues relating to in-car safety seats.'

The Good Egg clinics will be supported by a national advertisement campaign on bus rears across England. Parents will get the chance to win child car seats by logging on to www.protectchildgb.org.uk and completing the on-line survey. It is intended that the Good Egg Initiative will become an annual campaign and it will run initially for four weeks, with car seat clinics undertaken over several months this autumn.


8th September 2010 SCOOP THE POOP OR YOU COULD PAY DEARLY.....

Herefordshire Council is stepping up its battle to keep the county clean with a campaign aimed at pet owners encouraging them not to let their dogs foul public spaces. The authority is supporting the latest Keep Britain Tidy dog fouling campaign which starts on Monday, 20th September, with the aim of reducing the overall number of incidents of dog fouling and encouraging the responsible removal and disposal of dog waste.

Hot spots around the county have been identified and members of the Council's community protection team will be increasing the number of enforcement patrols during the four week campaign. Whilst there will be a focus during the campaign on education, in some circumstances irresponsible dog owners could find themselves subject to a fixed penalty charge of 50 or face prosecution.

Shane Hancock, the council's regulatory services manager for the Community Protection Team said, 'This campaign is very timely as the council will, in the near future be introducing a countywide Dog Control Order in respect of the removal of dog faeces that will increase the fixed penalty charge to 80. It is the intention to maximize the educational potential of the campaign as a final reminder to people of the requirement to clean up after their dogs. When the Dog Control Order is introduced there will be a much stronger emphasis on enforcement.'

The Council is working with local schools, vets and pet shops to raise awareness of the issues and distribute publicity material, which is being made available through the national campaign. Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing said, 'Dog fouling is an extreme case of antisocial behaviour. It's the one issue which comes up time and time again which the vast majority of people want us to do something about. We know that this is an issue of real concern to local residents as it comes up frequently at PACT meetings and Parish Council meetings.

Although we have seen a reduction in dog fouling over recent years, we now have the associated problem of increasing amounts of bagged dog faeces being left behind as people fail to dispose of bags correctly after cleaning up after their pets. There really is no excuse for this as bagged faeces do not have to be deposited in special bins; in the absence of a specific 'dog bin' any normal litter bin will do. We would appeal to all dog owners to take full responsibility for their animals.'

After public consultation, Herefordshire Council is going ahead with plans to introduce a number of Dog Control Orders, the first of which is the requirement for dog owners to remove and dispose of their pet's faeces properly. Councillor Jarvis said, 'The requirement to remove dog faeces in particular will assist the council's enforcement officers to take positive action against those irresponsible owners who still think it is acceptable not to pick up their dogs mess. If anyone still needs persuading that the issue of dog fouling is not serious they have clearly not read the terrible report in the national press recently on the toddler who contracted toxocariasis after falling onto dog mess in a public park.'

The second of the orders that the council intend to progress is the requirement to put your dog on a lead when required to do so by an authorized officer. A further order requires the exclusion of dogs from certain areas such as enclosed children's play areas and other specific games / sports areas.

Further details can be obtained from the Community Protection Team by telephoning 01432 260000 or emailing info@herefordshire.gov.uk


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