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Police in Ross are investigating a sexual assault on a woman who was on a bus which took place on a bus journey between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye on Monday 13th, September at approximately 4.30pm.

The man sat next to the woman and put his arm round her. He then continued to assault her even though she asked him to go away. The offender is described as a white man aged in his early 40s, approximately 5ft 8 tall and of stocky build. He had short cropped dark blonde or light brown hair and a fair complexion. He was wearing tracksuit bottoms and a hooded top or jacket. He also wore white trainers and is described as being of scruffy appearance. The man smelt strongly of alcohol. The victim got off the Stagecoach bus in Ross but the man remained on board.

PC Mike Evans from Ross-on-Wye police station said: 'We are keen to speak to any passengers on the bus who can help with information or anyone else who thinks they can identify this man. This was a frightening incident for the woman concerned and we are keen to trace this offender as soon as possible.'

This incident was not reported to police straight away and officers have been trawling local CCTV to try and identify the offender.

If you have any information, please call 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers 0800 555111.


The nights are getting darker and the festival season is coming to a close… What better way to kiss goodbye to the summer than with a thigh-slapping Jamstand knees-up - the LAST festival of 2010 season being held on 2nd and 3rd October (and still FREE) in the beautiful surroundings of Ross-on-Wye?

We have stopped at nothing to bring you the best Oktoberfest in the West - even flying Ugly Duckling back from LA especially for Jamstand! They will now be headlining on Sunday 3rd closing the festival with their legendary old skool hip-hop style. Also playing on Sunday are the incredible Laid Blak who are back again to get the crowd going with their unique blend of old-skool reggae vibes performed charismatically with a funky, modern twist. Sunday also heralds the almighty Haggis Horns who are Mark Ronson's band; so you can look forward to hearing them playing their fabulous live funk/afrobeat/jazz style recently made famous in tracks such as Amy Winehouse 'Valerie' and Lily Allen 'Oh My God'.

On Saturday we have top home-grown talent - featuring the superb funky jazz band Zang Tang and The Dandelion Killers as well as international live dance act Subsource who have won international acclaim for their groundbreaking punk/breakbeat style and been compared on more than one occasion to The Prodigy; so make sure you are ready to party! We are very excited that Jamstand Oktoberfest has secured a very special surprise act to close the billing on Saturday night - however; this will remain a closely guarded secret until just before the event… So make sure you arrange to get there early because once we are full - we are full!

As well as the main stage, we also have a dance tent that kicks off at 7pm on both dates and will be playing host on Saturday to a range of DJ's including DJ Cheat and Larsey and on Sunday to the incredible Dub Boy and Amoss.

There will be an acoustic tent that will running throughout the day playing a chilled mix including acts such as Zoe Mead and Adam Isaac on Saturday from 2pm -7.40pm. On Sunday the acoustic tent will open from 12.30pm-6.40pm; Klaus and Ed Sheeren - who has recently been signed to Sony - alongside other highly respected acts will be showcasing their talents. Full line-up can be found on the attached flyer or at

As well as this there will be two VW Campervans onsite; one as The Secret Disco playing a vibrant melange of funky beats and one as a mobile Martini Vodka Bar. There are two additional main bars onsite selling a wide range of local and continental beers, ales, ciders, wines and cocktails as well as variety of independent local traders and producers.

There will be numerous additional attractions at Oktoberfest including an onsite 70's roller disco, Paint-balling and laser-zap arena, Fancy Dress Stalls, Glowsticks, fairground rides including a Big Wheel, Breakdancing workshops, Jugglers and Circus performers, an area here you can meet the acts and get signed merchandise. As well as all this, there are more food and drinks stalls than ever selling a huge variety of delicacies including Chorizo Express, Moroccan Chicken and Broome Farm Cider. All to the backdrop of a wide variety of local and international artists bought to Jamstand especially for you to enjoy for FREE. So dust of your lederhosen and join us for a Jamstand Oktoberfest not to be missed!

Jamstand 2009 - The Audience.


Happy birthday greetings go to Rowena Pollock who will be 40 years old on Tuesday, 30th November. Yes, that's right, 30th November. Rowena wanted her party to be as much fun for the children on her guest list as for her adult friends and family, so she decided to have her celebratory party early, as the weather was likely to be warmer than on her actual birthday.

When we arrived at Ross Rowing Club on Saturday afternoon, there were lots of children enjoying the space hoppers, hula hoops, stilts and diablo that had been laid on for them before the arrival of the bouncy castle, which, as soon as it had been inflated was full of children. It did begin to rain a little, but that did not stand in the way of the family game of rounders which took place later in the afternoon.

When we returned in the evening, the club was full of friends and family enjoying some delicious food and drink whilst catching up with each other. Whenever we saw Rowena, she was attending to one of the children or collecting glasses and plates, chatting with everybody on the way, with a permanent smile on her face. When asked why she was working in stead of relaxing, Rowena said that she didn't want the party to be just about her. She just loves to watch people enjoying themselves. Well, they certainly did Rowena. Thank you for inviting us to your party. We really enjoyed it and we shall look forward to having a drink with you again in November.

Rowena Pollock with husband Mick and children Lucy and Thomas.

Rowena with her father.

The children had lots of fun with space hoppers, stilts and hula hoops etc. . . .

. . . . and jumped on the bouncy castle the very second it had been inflated.


Congratulations to Ross-in-Bloom for being given a gold award in the Heart of England in Bloom competition. The judges of this annual contest who visited Ross-on-Wye in July left with an excellent impression, not only due to the hard work of the volunteers of Ross-in-Bloom, but that of the community as a whole.

Over 120 members of the Association of Ross Traders displayed hanging baskets on their premises this year which were provided by Ross Garden Store and watered regularly by EnviroAbility. In their remarks the judges commented on the quality of all the baskets around the town, as well as the new planters on the Morrisons Roundabout, which were planted by Ross Garden Store and the quality of the bedding in the public park areas. They were also very impressed with the project work in Pigs Alley, which again had been done by various volunteers across the town. The public art in the riverside walk and around other parts of the town were also very impressive and Ross-in-Bloom hope to turn these areas into a 'Walk Around the Arts of Ross' for 2011 if they can get support and sponsorship to print off enough copies for all the hotels and coffee shops to have for their visitors.

It's not all flowers and projects for Heart of England in Bloom entries. The judges also need to see how the community has responded during the year to all of the advertising and press coverage. Ross did very well and there was a special mention of the numerous banners adorning the town advertising the event as well as the enormous amount of press coverage for events during the year.

People of all ages need to be involved in the annual campaign and once again Ross-in-Bloom managed to do this by including the Guides Centenary in not just the colour scheme but also awareness days run by Jules King, JP throughout the year, whilst the older generations helped with Pigs Alley amongst other projects. There was also an excellent working relationship with Amey and Herefordshire Council which also gained extra marks. Amey are always a great help throughout the year in Ross and the Chairman, Margaret Lucas was delighted that they had received a special mention for all the hard work they do.

Margaret said, 'I am over the moon that we were able to achieve Gold this year. A lot of hard work has gone into making sure the town looked good and it was wonderful to be able to bring back this award to thank everyone who helped this year. We are well into plans for next year already as this is not just for the summer but for the whole year. We do hope that everyone will feel that they are able to join in and make it another memorable year for the town.

I would like to also congratulate all of the individual entries in the town in the Heart of England in Bloom 'It's Your Neighbourhood' Competition and the Hotel Competition. The Chase Hotel gained Gold for their gardens which were judged at the same time as the town. The neighbourhoods were also judged on the day and they all received an Outstanding Award, which is the equivalent of the Gold. July 21st was an excellent day for Ross this year in many ways. We are delighted for them all that we all managed to get the highest accolades.'

Last Friday Ross-in-Bloom was joined by representatives of Ross Court, Woodside, Goodrich Court and the Chase Hotel for a group celebration and they all took along their Heart of England in Bloom certificates to show off. Also present were representatives of the many groups than had helped them as well as individual committee members and volunteers. These groups included Amey, Herefordshire Council, ART, John Kyrle Rooms, the Guides and Ross Town Council with lots of other individuals.

If anybody has any ideas on how they can help for the 2011 campaign or would like to say what they would like to see in the town entry next summer, please contact Margaret Lucas at Lucas Motorcycles in Brookend Street. She will be very pleased to hear from you.

Herefordshire as whole is celebrating a record number of awards in the Heart of England in Bloom Camapigns for 2010. Herefordshire-in-Bloom achieved no less than 33 awards, which is the most ever achieved for the county. Needless to say, everybody is delighted with their results.

Gordon and Margaret Lucas hold the ribbon ready for the Pigs Alley art opening on behalf of Ross in Bloom.

22nd September 2010 ROSS TIC WILL MOVE TO HERITAGE CENTRE IN 2011.....

Ross Tourist Information Centre will be integrated wit Ross Heritage Centre in January 2011 in a drive by Herefordshire Council to save public funds. Herefordshire's TICs cost almost £200,000 per year to run, yet are used by just 2 per cent of visitors to the county. However, the council has confirmed that every market town in the county will have a tourism information service as part of plans to boost Herefordshire's £411-million tourism industry.

At a meeting on Monday, 16th September, the council's cabinet approved the creation of an enhanced destination management partnership (DMP) driven by the private sector, with the aim of growing visitor income by over £100 million a year to support up to 2,000 extra jobs in Herefordshire. The county's tourist information centres will move from expensive leased premises to join up with other information services in council premises.

Leader of the council, Roger Phillips reaffirmed that this would still mean that there will continue to be a tourism information presence in the city and in each of the market towns. Most of Herefordshire's 4.8 million annual visitors now depend on internet information, with the Visit Herefordshire web site attracting half a million hits per month.

Herefordshire Council runs five tourist information centres which are in Hereford, Ross, Leominster, Ledbury and Queenswood, plus a tourist information point in Bromyard and one service in Kington run by the voluntary sector. Tourist information centres are being moved from expensive leased premises to be accommodated more cost effectively with other council services. In Leominster the TIC became part of the customer services centre in Corn Square and the Ledbury tourism service will be moved to the town's customer services centre. Hereford's tourism information centre is the most expensive to run and options will be explored as to the future use, potentially as a showcase of Herefordshire and Herefordshire products. The Queenswood Country Park tourism centre would explore similar opportunities

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, cabinet member for economic development said, 'The new destination marketing partnership would be based on international tourism best practice, driven by the private sector but commissioned by the public sector to deliver an effective tourism strategy. It will capitalize on the trend for people to spend more of their holidays in the UK rather than go abroad.'

22nd September 2010 YOUNG BOY AIRLIFTED TO HOSPITAL.....

A young boy, believed to be a year 8 student was involved in an accident when riding his bicycle on Ledbury Road, Ross-on-Wye just before 5pm last Friday afternoon. He was attended at first by the First Response team and Ambulance staff, but it was thought necessary to call in the Air Ambulance team who, once the young man had been fitted with a head and neck brace, air lifted him to hospital.

The boy did manage to lift his arm and wave through the helicopter window as it took off from the ground of the John Kyrle High School and we are hoping that he is now making a speedy recovery.

The young boy being transported from the ambulance to the helicopter.

The Air Ambulance takes off . . . .

. . . . air lifting the boy to hospital.


Children and young people from across the county are being urged to have their say at a day long interactive event which will help plan children's services for the next three years. The Herefordshire Children's Trust is a formal partnership working with and for children, and include Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire, the police, youth offending team and voluntary and community organizations. The Children's Trust is currently developing plans which will set priorities and pave the way for the work of the Trust and its partners over the next three years.

It is really important that children and young people are able to influence what the main objectives are in the plan by making it clear what their priorities are now and for the next few years. As a result Have your Say Day has been organized for Wednesday, 29th September at the Freedom Centre, Hereford. Invitations have been issued to children and young people through their schools, colleges and youth clubs, so that they can join in what promises to be fun sessions which will encourage discussions on what is important to them in their lives.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'We want to gain a real understanding of what is important to our children and young people. This will vary from age to age which is why we're splitting the day into interactive sessions for the three main age groups. For those children and young people who would like to have a say but can't attend the event, there are other ways of getting involved by looking at We want as many children and young people from all ages and backgrounds to get involved in planning services that they need.'

The work from all the events will then be used to decide on priorities in a new Children and Young People's Plan which will be available from April 2011.

22nd September 2010 LEG CLUB COMING TO ROSS-ON-WYE.....

NHS Herefordshire is planning to start the county's first leg clubs, which will provide a social environment for people who have problems with their legs to meet up weekly, exchange tips, share experiences, gain advice from district nurses and where appropriate, receive treatment too. Details of the clubs, which will run in Ross-on-Wye and Kington, will be under discussion this month as professionals involved in the scheme will be meeting on 24th September to finalize the scheme and develop plans to ensure GPs know about the clubs and can refer their patients to them.

Approximately three per cent of the local population suffer with leg problems which can vary from varicose veins and swelling to ulcers and painful joints. The new Leg Clubs, which will be run on a voluntary basis, will invite nurses to deliver sessions on leg care and encourage people to manage their ailments so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.

Dorothy Bithel, NHS Herefordshire said, 'We know that there are quite a number of elderly patients in the county who suffer with leg ailments and can often feel isolated, particularly in the rural communities. There are many things that people with leg problems can do for themselves to help reduce swelling and keep mobile.

Our district nurses do their best to visit as many patients as possible, but bringing people together provides the additional benefit of reducing social isolation and encouraging peer support and new friendships. The two new leg clubs will be run as trial projects beginning in November and if they work well, consideration will be given to setting up further schemes in Herefordshire next year. Ross-on-Wye and Kington have been chosen to trial the clubs because they are very rural areas where isolation can be a problem and district nurses have identified a need.'

NHS Herefordshire is currently exploring community transport options for those who need help getting to the clubs, although it is anticipated that many will come to the clubs with partners and/or friends. Dates and times of the new clubs will be posted on the NHS Herefordshire web site ( and shared with GPs.


The Herefordshire Food Festival 2010 will take place at Hereford Racecourse on 23rd and 24th October and will have all of the ingredients you'd expect to make it one of the leading events of its kind in the country.

One or two of this year's exhibitors may well add a bit more spice to proceedings as The Orgasmic Cider Company, for example, will be hoping to put smiles on the faces of anyone who sips from their cup during the two day food extravaganza, while Love Patisserie, in Hay-on-Wye, is another exhibitor looking to woo the crowds with their superb, locally made pastries. Now recognized as one of the leading food festivals in the whole of the UK, the event as a whole will also feature the welcome return of popular TV cooks The Hairy Bikers and a talk on cheese production by former Coronation Street star, Sean Wilson (better known, perhaps, as Martin Platt).

A major element of this, the 5th annual Herefordshire Food Festival however, will be about the family, with a strong emphasis on introducing youngsters, as much as grown-ups, to the benefits of using great quality produce with as few food-miles on the clock as possible. An Easy Peasy Cookery Kitchen for the kids, meanwhile, will also make it one of the most inclusive of all food festivals held in the UK this year.

There will be two food demonstration areas where The Hairy Bikers will engage with the public in lively cookery shows three times a day, a 'slow food' section with exhibitions and a busy schedule of talks. This teamed with a pavilion packed with local food and drink producers promises to turn Hereford Racecourse into a weekend Mecca for 'foodies.'

Other highlights of the occasion will include a bustling farmers market, cookery demonstrations by some of the brightest young chefs in Herefordshire and exhibitions by both the Marcher Apple Network and the Herefordshire Beekeepers Association. This year's Herefordshire Food Festival will also link to the Herefordshire Photography Festival - with pictures of Hereford cattle taking centre stage in an eye-catching collection of images.

The Food Festival will mark the conclusion of the 12th annual 'Flavours of Herefordshire' awards scheme, which recognizes and rewards the use and promotion of local produce. The scheme itself celebrates the close links which exist between Herefordshire's rural landscape and the food and drink which is on offer to its residents and visitors alike. Winners will be presented with their awards on the night before the Food Festival gets under way by The Hairy Bikers.

Further details can be found at


Meeks Well Lane in Symonds Yat West, near Ross-on-Wye has been closed to traffic due to land slippages which have occurred in the area of Vineyard and Lavender Cottage. Herefordshire Council, working in conjunction with Amey Herefordshire, has now drawn up an appropriate design in order to stabilize the existing land slippages. A contractor has also now been appointed to construct the scheme.

Construction works started last week and will continue for around 14 weeks. A statement from Herefordshire Council reads that 'A certain level of disruption will be experienced by local residents during the construction phase and their understanding and co-operation in this matter would be appreciated. The current road closure and associated diversionary routes will continue until the stabilization works have been completed.'


Herefordshire Council are congratulating the county's residents for their recycling efforts after the 5,000th tonne of waste, equivalent to the weight of around twenty-five 747 jumbo jets, was collected for delivery to the council's EnviroSort facility. Residents have risen to the challenge and taken advantage of the changes to their kerbside collection systems and are now being asked to keep up the good work.

Recyclables placed in household green bins and clear plastic sacks since November last year have been transported to Worcestershire's state-of-the-art facility, EnviroSort, where the sophisticated technology employed allows materials to be sorted better than ever before. The impressive site, which is operated by Severn Waste Services for Worcestershire County Council, covers 5.8 acres, has more than a mile of conveyer belts, 145 electric motors and 12 miles of cable. Once sorted the materials are then transferred to various outlets in Britain and across Europe where they are reprocessed and used again. The 5,000th tonne of kerbside recycling was delivered from Herefordshire to the facility, in Norton, near Worcester, last week.

Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for environment and strategic housing said, 'I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken advantage of the new kerbside collection scheme to recycle this impressive amount. The people of Herefordshire should be congratulated for their efforts and, most importantly, I'd like to ask residents to keep up the good work.'

Residents are being reminded they can place a host of materials into their green bin collections including: food tins and drink cans, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers, paper, cartons and cardboard.

To find out more EnviroSort visit, which includes a video explaining what goes on inside EnviroSort.


Children from Herefordshire were among more than 1,600 schoolchildren and young people who were invited to West Mercia Police HQ at Hindlip Hall, Worcester, for an exciting insight into how their local police force goes about its business. Over four days, children aged between 10 and 16 years from schools in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire spent time with officers learning about their work and getting tips on how to stay safe. Pupils from Queen Elizabeth Humanities College, Bromyard, were among those who took part.

The event was called the Real Bill because it was an attempt to show local children what the realities of modern policing are, rather than what they might pick up from TV programmes. It was intended to show the children that beyond media images of the police, officers are real people whose job is to protect them and their communities. The children who attended were given a short presentation on how the police go about investigating crimes and this was followed by a demonstration from the Dog Section, a talk on internet safety, a chance to see up close some police vehicles, and a display about forensics. The children were able to chat with officers and ask any questions they had.

Organizer, Detective Constable Simon Davies said, 'This is the second year that the Real Bill has taken place and we felt we had to do it again after last year's was a great success. We got some very positive feedback from our young visitors and their teachers about the series of events targeted specifically at schools from across the force's communities.

Our main aim was to engage with the children in an imaginative and creative way in order for them to gain a better understanding of what the police do. We also wanted to start from an early age some positive relationships with officers and pass on some very important messages concerning such issues as internet safety. Hopefully we will have achieved all of this at the same time as making the events entertaining, informative and fun.'


Herefordshire Council has urged residents to make sure they continued to have their say on important plans to regenerate the county as a 'new land of opportunity'. The council's cabinet met on Thursday, 16th September and approved the next stage in the Shaping Our Place consultation, which aims to create new and better paid jobs, new enterprises, decent and affordable homes, more higher education and a new relief road and river crossing for Hereford.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the council, confirmed that all 58 elected councillors had recently approved the ambitious growth plans for the city and the county but there was to be further widespread public debate in the autumn - not least on the preferred route for Hereford's new road to the west of the city.

Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for the environment, referred to public consultation earlier in the year, in which over 5,000 people had participated, as 'the most successful of its kind in the UK'. Now there will be a public exhibition arranged in Hereford to receive views on a final 'core strategy' document, which will be the blueprint for future development and presented to the full council in February next year, with possible adoption by the end of 2011. In parallel, there will be further consultation on plans for new communities, enterprise and amenities in the market towns and rural areas.

The Shaping Our Place consultation showed public support for boosting the city's role as the main employment and economic centre for the county, with a need for a further 15 hectares of employment land to encourage new enterprise, inward investment and new, high quality jobs. By 2026, the aim is to significantly boost income in more deprived areas of the city and build an economy based on a wider range of sectors, as well as encouraging a greater range of skills and opportunities for higher education.

The planned new communities in Hereford mean an average of 260 new energy efficient homes a year up to 2026, which officers say are 'manageable' according to recent history. The new communities include 1,000 homes in Holmer West to the North of the city, 1,000 at Three Elms and 1,500 at Whitecross to the West and 1,000 homes at Lower Bullingham to the South. One third of new homes will be designed to be affordable for people in Herefordshire.

All housing areas will have a community hub and play areas with open space and sports facilities. Developers will also contribute to new road infrastructure and sustainable transport, including Park and Ride schemes at Holmer West, Three Elms and Lower Bullingham. There is also planned a new urban village of 800 homes in the centre of Hereford.

The cabinet heard that consultations have shown that nearly 80 per cent of residents would support a relief road, together with a range of other transport improvements, such as better public transport, more cycling and walking routes and measures to reduce the number of car journeys to schools. The relief road is regarded as a priority if Hereford is to avoid a future of gridlock misery.

Councillor Phillip Price, cabinet member for education and achievement added, 'The strategy is the way we ensure that our young people can look forward to a proper job, a rewarding career and a decent home in Herefordshire, rather than having to leave the county to achieve it.'

Councillor June French, cabinet member for corporate and customer services, said that there were people in the community, on the housing waiting list, or trying to get a decent job, that wanted the council to deliver its blueprint for change.

'A prosperous Hereford means a prosperous Herefordshire,' added Councillor Jarvis. 'We must safeguard the city for all generations, as the alternative will be a city and a county condemned to lost opportunity, low wages, poor prospects, stunted growth and a future of congested roads.'


Plans for a permanent Park and Ride scheme in Hereford have been put on hold, it was announced at Herefordshire Council's Cabinet meeting last week. The announcement from Councillor Brian Wilcox was one of the proposals to meet the reductions to budgets which were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer earlier this year.

Nationally £6bn of savings to non-front line public services are to be made this financial year which has resulted in a reduction of £570,000 to Herefordshire Council's local transport plan budget. In response to this budget reduction, priority continues to be given to road safety, highway maintenance and supporting sustainable modes of transport.

Councillor Wilcox said, 'Unfortunately, I have had to put the proposed Hereford park and ride project on hold pending development of longer term strategic park and ride proposals associated with land use planning. If the scheme had gone ahead, there would have been a substantial revenue implication year-on-year to subsidize the scheme. The temporary placing of the proposals on hold has released sufficient funding to address the majority of cuts in the highways budget.'

Shoppers will be pleased to learn, however, that the popular Christmas park and ride scheme will still be going ahead this year to help them access the city in the busy run-up to the festive period, but details concerning the level of service have yet to be decided. As usual, the scheme will be operating from both South of the city at Grafton and in the north at the racecourse, during the run-up to Christmas, although exact details have yet to be agreed.

'In these times of reducing budgets, we have to take tough decisions,' Councillor Wilcox added. 'I am pleased that we have been able to still concentrate on the key priorities of safety, maintenance and sustainability while still helping shoppers and traders in the busy run-up to Christmas.'

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