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13th October 2010 ANOTHER OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY X-ENTRICITY....

Local youth theatre group X-entricity are currently appearing at the Larruperz centre with their production of musical comedy, 'The Wedding Singer.' We were invited to the show on Saturday evening and the group's performance was nothing less than outstanding. The laughs were many and the turntable sets were fantastic but the talent and professionalism of these young people was just amazing.

The starring role in this production was played by Lucas Abbot, who sang his heart out, made you want to cry your eyes out and carried the role of the jilted Wedding Singer perfectly. Lots of laughs too came courtesy of his supportive 'band' Sammy, (Charlie Rodgers-Davies) and George (Ryan Clack) as they tried to mend Robbie's broken heart before he destroyed too many more wedding ceremonies. Tabby Porter, (leading lady, Julia) has a wonderful voice. Watching her come to terms with the fact that she loved Robbie and not her intended, Glen Guglia (Rory Trevethan) who played his part brilliantly was a joy to see.

The main characters were very well supported by a strong cast and we can certainly recommend the show. The Wedding Singer is running again this coming Friday and Saturday evening. Last weekend was a sell out but if you want to go and see this fabulous show, it will definitely be well worth seeing if there are any tickets left.


X-entricity at the close of their Saturday night performance.

13th October 2010 CINEMA IN ROSS ON THE CARDSY.....

A community cinema in Ross-on-Wye could be on the cards as part of a package to improve the town's community facilities at the Y-Zone. The YZone, which provides access for local groups to work with young people from the town and surrounding areas, has already enjoyed extensive modernization including the development of a music suite and recording facilities.

With help from Herefordshire Council, the Basement Youth Trust and grants from a variety of external funders, the young people and local community are to benefit from a second phase in the development, which includes a new IT suite, a full catering kitchen, a new TV lounge with all mod cons and a full size cinema screen. The centre has the potential to be used as a community cinema with films being projected from the balcony; a much needed resource in Ross-on-Wye as the nearest cinemas are in Hereford or Gloucester. Licensing regulations are already being explored.

To celebrate the opening of these new facilities and give members of the public and centre users the chance to see them, an open morning is being organized for Tuesday, 26th October. During the morning, the young people from the centre's youth club will be putting on a host of entertainment, showcasing some of the activities they have been participating in over the last 12 months.

It promises to be a spectacular event with local bands playing, lots of rapping and singing, displays of young people's art and design work and a tour of the music suite which is now fully operational with a music technician in post to help budding artists play and record their work. The morning will begin at 10.30am and finish at around 1pm with buffet style refreshments, all prepared by the young people in the new kitchen.

'The Y-zone provides a much needed base for many user groups to work with young people and the local community, and now this extended facility opens up yet more possibilities,' said Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services. 'The council's youth workers already do some outstanding video and music project work with young people which they will now be able to share with their friends and families on the big silver screen.

The potential for Ross-on-Wye to have its own community cinema is fantastic and would provide a much needed boost to the town, encouraging people to stay local and support their local economy.'


13th October 2010 ROSS LIONS RAISE £1000 FOR PAKISTAN APPEALY.....

Ross Lions Club would like to thank the people of Ross-on-Wye for their generosity during our recent street collection for Pakistan Flood Relief.

On the day, the street collection raised 450.93 which exceeded their expectations and they were delighted by everyone's' generosity. There were several 10 and 20 donations which shows just how much people have been affected by this great tragedy. We have all seen the effects of Wye floods. Just imagine that this flood covers not only the whole of Herefordshire, but extends across the whole of Wales. That is what happened in Pakistan.

Ross Lions Club agreed to round up the collection from their own funds to a total of 1000. This money will be added to moneys collected into the Lions Clubs International Pakistan Appeal from Lions Clubs all over the world. So far, This fund has reached $230,000 (not counting their 1000) but it will get much bigger if the Haiti appeal is anything to go by. This raised $6,000,000.

The money you donate does not go to governments or Quangos. It always remains under the control of Lions Clubs and every penny is spent locally by the Lions Clubs of Pakistan, who have already provided help on a heroic scale. You can see just what the Pakistan Lions are doing by visiting http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/news-and-events/newsroom/release-200.php

You can find out more about Ross Lions, or how to donate, from our web site www.rossonwyelions.org


13th October 2010 LOCAL CHARITIES DID WELL FROM CROFTS SHOP....

Readers will be pleased to know that local charities have had their funds boosted considerably by proceeds from the charity shop in Crofts Court. The shop opened for seven weeks and proceeds from the first two weeks, £2655.20, went to Help for Heroes. The following two weeks raised £1575 for Ross Pre School Playgroup and £1550 was raised for Ross Rowing Club during the third fortnight. The final week was in aid of Tudorville & District Community Centre when the shop raised £890.

Iris Price said that she and Joyce Thomas were extremely pleased with the results and would like to thank everybody who had supported the venture.

The shop at Crofts Court has now been taken over by Ross Sea Cadets and there are plenty of bargains to be had. (I myself purchased a nearly new pair of jeans for 50p there alst week!) This particular venture will be running until Saturday, 16th October, so why not go along yourself and help to support the young people from Ross Sea Cadets at the same time? The volunteers there will be very pleased to see you.


Sue Lampert of Ross Sea Cadets hands Tina her bargain £0.50 jeans from the Sea Cadets' shop.

13th October 2010 TASTY COMPETITION FOR HALF TERM HOLIDAYY.....

The Library service is calling on county youngsters to get creative this half term holiday) by entering a tasty competition which is running from Monday, 25th until Friday, 29th October. The children will have the chance to win Halo vouchers for use in their local leisure centre or pool. To enter all youngsters need to do is collect a paper plate from any of the county's libraries and decorate it with a foody face. Inspiration for the competition can be found in Daniel Modern's book, 'So Hungry,' where edible collages stimulate the appetite with balanced, healthy combinations of tasty food.

Emma Stevens, the county's library learning officer said, 'This competition is aimed at encouraging youngsters to recognize the importance of healthy food but to also realize food can be fun. They could draw their dad with herby hair, their sister with a sausage mouth or even their best friend with a beetroot nose.

As part of NHS Herefordshire's Change4Life campaign, youngsters are encouraged to eat their five a day. By turning the five a day into a fun plate of food, I'm sure more will eat them. The event also links in with October's Big Draw, a national campaign aimed at raising the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.'

For your chance to win, return your food plates with your name and telephone on the reverse to any of the county libraries by Tuesday, 2nd November.


13th October 2010 TRAILER AND BIKES STOLEN FROM HILDERSLEYY.....

West Mercia Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a business in Ross-on-Wye was burgled overnight on Monday, 4th / Tuesday, 5th October.

At a time between 9pm and 8.30am, the premises of CMF Engineering & Trailers at Hildersley was broken into and a blue Yamaha WR 250 motor cross motorbike (registration CN06 KNR) and a green Yamaha 400cc quad bike, which had a large tool box on the front, were stolen. Also taken were two portable generators (one Honda, the other a Yamaha) as well as 13 rear lighting boards, which are used to fit rear lights to a trailer.

PC John Patterson from Ross-on-Wye Police Station said, 'It appears that whoever stole these items loaded them onto a trailer that was also stolen and towed everything away using the stolen quad bike. The trailer taken is very distinctive as it was built by the company and is unique. It is an aluminium single axle skeleton type, designed to carry two motorcycles and is marked with a CMF Trailers logo.

If anyone has seen this trailer or any of the items, or has been offered them for sale, then I would urge them to get in touch. Likewise, if you saw any suspicious activity in the Hildersley area last Monday night, then please contact me at Ross-on-Wye Police Station on 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on any information you have anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.'


13th October 2010

MEET HEREFORDSHIRES NEW POLICING COMMANDER

Superintendent Charles Hill has taken over responsibility for operational policing in the county of Herefordshire. The 43-year-old has 22 years of policing service and has worked in every area of West Mercia Police except Herefordshire until now.

Superintendent Hill said of his appointment, 'I was honoured and thrilled when the Chief Constable invited me to lead policing in Herefordshire. I am new to the county but very much looking forward to getting to know its people and communities.

I pride myself on my operational policing background and relish the opportunity of becoming involved in the policing challenges in Herefordshire in the months and years to come. I will be working hard to make sure it remains one of the safest places in the country to live and work.'

Superintendent Hill began his police career in 1988 when he joined the Metropolitan Police. He worked in London for seven years, based mostly in East London. His roles included time in response policing, on crime squads, tutoring new officers and a short spell as a traffic patrol officer on a motorcycle. He transferred to West Mercia Police in 1995, initially on response policing in Telford and then at Market Drayton in Shropshire. He again tutored a number of new officers during this period.

In 1998 Superintendent Hill was promoted to Sergeant at Shrewsbury and over the next three years performed roles on response, local policing and in custody. Promoted to inspector in 2001, he ran a response shift covering the whole of Shropshire. A variety of other roles followed, including time as the geographic inspector for North Shropshire and a spell in CID.

During this period Superintendent Hill qualified as a public order and firearms commander. A move to North Worcestershire followed his promotion to chief inspector in 2005, where he became District Commander at Bromsgrove and was chair of the Bromsgrove Community Safety Partnership.

In 2007, Supt Hill was promoted to temporary superintendent as Staff Officer to the Lead of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Working Group on Armed Policing. In 2008 he was promoted substantively and until late 2009 he was responsible for facilitating work around armed policing throughout the UK, in liaison with the likes of the Home Office and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Recently, he has been working on the Peer Review of Cumbria Constabulary's response to the murder of 12 people by Derek Bird in June 2010.

Superintendent Hill was posted to the Force Operations Department at police headquarters in Hindlip near Worcester in November 2009. He implemented the Force Operations Support Team, a new dedicated force-wide unit responsible for armed and roads policing.

Superintendent Hill is married with two daughters and in his spare time enjoys keeping fit, gardening and fly fishing.


13th October 2010 HEREFORDSHIRES YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE THEIR SAY.....

Nearly 100 children and young people from Herefordshire schools have been talking about the changes they would like to see over the next three years to make life better for them, for their schools and for all the children and young people in Herefordshire. They were part of a Have Your Say consultation event at the Freedom Centre in Hereford at the end of September.

The day was organized by Herefordshire Children's Trust and included a programme of entertaining activities to help the children think about their needs. In the morning, primary school children were treated to a mixture of dance, circus skills and percussion playing that led into discussions around staying safe and healthy, enjoying life and learning and getting ready to be part of the adult world. In the afternoon, the secondary school students had a more open debate about issues important to them, ending with an interactive electronic voting system to prioritise their issues.

Senior officers from the Children's Trust and the council's cabinet member for children's services joined in, talking to the children and young people and hearing their views on the issues that concern them. Some of the points raised on the day hinted at the need for more play areas, wanting to feel safe on the roads and having access to more sporting activities. Young people particularly want to feel valued, respected and listened to. Further Have Your Say sessions are being held in schools and youth groups over the next month alongside a poster and flyer campaign encouraging all children and young people from pre-school upwards, to say what's important to them.

Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for Herefordshire Council's children's services said, 'It was a wonderful event and the children were truly absorbed in their tasks. We need to listen very carefully to what they tell us so that we plan services to help them now and in the future. It's early days yet and there is still lots of data to gather and assess, but it is obvious from all the discussion and debating that went on that young people are aware of issues important to them and do want to make a difference in the future.'

All the responses will be analysed and used to help develop the county's Children and Young People's Plan for 2011-2014.


13th October 2010 CANOEING TRIP HELPS GET PUPILS BACK ON TRACK....

Pupils from The Brookfield School in Hereford have renewed enthusiasm for school and learning and have more positive attitudes thanks to a canoe scheme run in partnership with Herefordshire Council. The council's Youth Service and The Brookfield School came together to provide students with a residential experience abroad; canoeing and kayaking on the Ardeche in France earlier this term.

The trip was made possible by contributions from parents, the Make it Happen Fund and school sponsorship and involved six pupils who were selected because of their excellent behaviour, attitude and effort in school. These pupils enjoyed a six-day cultural and outdoor experience living together in France, visiting local areas of interest, practising language skills and tackling outdoor challenges with tutors from the council's outdoor education team.

Having been rained off a local trip earlier this year, the group arrived in France amidst a 48 hour thunder storm and heavy rain. Undaunted, the group tackled day one on the river in torrential rain. Day two was greeted by the news that the river had risen between five and ten metres overnight and was no longer navigable by canoe. The local area had endured the worst summer storms ever and was on red alert, as roads were washed away, trees uprooted and substantial damage encountered. Days three and four saw the group tackle the river and its rapids with skill, courage and tenacity to achieve successful paddles. Day six saw a happy group of paddlers head for home via an afternoon on the beach in Beziers.

Phil Abell, deputy head at The Bookfield School said, 'Working with the youth service, we were able to provide our pupils with some incredible experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The bad weather conditions forced the individual group members to work as a team, face their fears and tackle the challenges they faced head on. The results have been a tremendous boost to their self esteem and attitude towards education and learning. We have seen positive changes in all the pupils who attended.'

David McEneaney of Herefordshire Council said, 'Although the conditions were very difficult for the students, they remained undaunted and as a result, deserve to be extremely proud of their achievements. This approach to helping some of the county's more behaviourally challenged students has proved to be extremely successful.'

Jordan Powell summed up his experience. 'I thoroughly enjoyed the kayaking down the river,' he said, 'especially as Aidan and I did not capsize through the rapids; the only boat not to!'

for further information on canoeing in and around Ross-on-Wye please click here.


Aidan Poole and Jordan Powell.

13th October 2010 SEARCH ON FOR EX MEMBERS OF YOUTH ORCHESTRA.....

The search is on for ex members of Herefordshire's Youth Orchestra as the council's music service prepares to celebrate 50 years of bringing music to the county's ears. Herefordshire's Youth Orchestra takes the best musicians from schools and colleges and provides them with a full orchestra experience.

Set up fifty years ago, young musicians aged between 13 and 18 audition to join the orchestra which meets on a weekly basis. Each year they put on a big concert in order to celebrate and showcase some of the most talented musicians in the county. At the moment there are around 40 members of the Youth Orchestra but over the past 50 years, there may have been more than 1,000 in total. The challenge is now on to span musical generations and find ex members to join in a big reunion concert scheduled for April next year.

Cliff Woollard of Herefordshire Council said, 'We have some publicity from 40 years ago featuring two Youth Orchestra members who now work for the music service. We'd love to be able to talk to other ex members and find out what they're doing now: whether they've continued with their musical career, or whether they can no longer remember a note, we'd like to hear from them. The reunion will be a great opportunity for many to meet up with old friends, and for those who can still play, to strike up a chord again for old times' sake.'

Recent members of the Youth Orchestra will receive an invitation in the post but to make sure no one is missed, the music service is urging any musicians who have ever played in the Youth Orchestra to contact them on 01432 260840 or to email eprestage@herefordshire.gov.uk


13th October 2010

POLICE REPEAT APPEAL FOR MISSING MAN

West Mercia Police are re-appealing to the public for their help in tracing a man from Herefordshire who has been missing for more than two weeks.

Gregory Williams, aged 57, was last seen leaving his home address in Bishop's Frome at 7.30am on Monday, 27th September. He went for a ride on his red Giant mountain bike but never returned and has not been seen since.

Mr. Williams is 5 ft 10ins tall, of medium build, with very short grey hair, blue eyes and has a pitted complexion. When he was last seen he was wearing green combat trousers, a burgundy sweatshirt, a black coat and black boots with yellow laces.

PC Sean Smith of Hereford Police said, 'We are growing increasingly concerned for Mr Williams' welfare, as he has been missing for more than a fortnight. I would like to appeal to Greg directly and ask him to contact police or his family, who are extremely worried about him.

If anyone has any information, no matter how small, then please contact us as soon as possible.'

PC Smith can be contacted at Hereford Police Station via 0300 3333 000, or Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.


13th October 2010 COUNCILS NEW POWERS TO DEAL WITH DOG FOULING.....

Dog owners are being advised that as from Monday, 25th October Herefordshire Council will have new powers to deal with dog fouling, which means that anyone failing to remove dog faeces can be given an on-the-spot fine of 80.

Three other orders also come into effect that day which mean that; Dogs must be kept on a lead in council cemeteries and other named burial grounds; There is a requirement to put dog on a lead when required to do so by an Authorized Officer and dogs will be excluded from certain areas such as enclosed children's play areas and other specific games / sports areas.

Councillor John Jarvis said, 'Over the past month we have been actively supporting a Keep Britain Tidy dog fouling campaign with the aim of reducing the overall number of incidents of dog fouling and encouraging the responsible removal and disposal of dog waste. Officers from our community protection visited hotshots around the county and increased the number of enforcement patrols during the four week campaign which ends on Wednesday, 13th October.

The focus during this campaign was on education and served as a final reminder before we brought in these new orders. Having spent a whole month educating dog owners about their responsibilities, we aim to be robust in enforcing these new orders as we feel there can be no excuses now. As a dog owner myself, I fully understand the responsibility this entails and hope other dog owners will now realize how important it is to clean up after their animals.

Dog fouling is an extreme case of antisocial behaviour and an issue which comes up time and time again and which the vast majority of people want us to do something about. 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.'


13th October 2010 SEE ENERGY SAVING TECHNOLOGY AT SHIRE HALL....

Ed Leddy Owen, Kate Gathercole and Jason Fuller.

Herefordshire residents are being invited to a special event at Hereford Shire Hall which will showcase the latest energy saving measures and technologies. The event will take place on Saturday, 16th October and is being run by the Energy Saving Trust, supported by Herefordshire Council and will mark the end of h.Energy week.

Kate Gathercole, New Leaf coordinator said, 'This is a groundbreaking event for the county and will give residents a chance to find out how they can save money on their energy bills. The event will include looking at renewable energy options together with advice on saving gas and electricity, home insulation and sustainable transport. There will be electric bikes to trial, River Simple's hydrogen cars to view and Master Composters will also be on hand to offer handy tips on reducing food waste.

Ed Leddy Owen, specialist microgeneration co-ordinator for the impartial Energy Saving Trust West Midlands advice centre agreed. 'The Energy Saving Trust will be offering expert, free, impartial advice on the financial and environmental benefits of the government's new feed in tariff to businesses, local authorities, community groups, housing developers and householders,' he said 'We'll also be on hand to explain to installers how to become Microgeneration Certification Scheme certified - an essential requirement for those installing equipment for consumers who want to benefit from both the new feed in tariff and the renewable heat incentive.''

The event will run from 10am until 4pm and places can be booked by calling the freephone number 0800 512012 or email advice@est-westmidlands.org.uk All people attending who book a free no obligation quote for loft or cavity wall insulation will be entered into a prize draw to win a Sat-Nav. Ed Leddy Owen of the Energy Saving Trust, Kate Gathercole of Herefordshire New Leaf and Jason Fuller of Southern Solar.


13th October 2010 TRADING STANDARDS WARN OVER CHRISTMAS DEBTY.....

The Trading Standards team at Herefordshire Councl is warning low income families not to take out loans which will lead them into a spiral of debt.

Tim Thorne, principal trading standards officer said, 'As we enter the run up to Christmas, many low income families who cannot get loans from high street banks are tempted to borrow money to pay for presents. Everyone wants their children to have a wonderful Christmas, but these families need to be aware that some types of loans could leave them with debts which they may never be able to clear.

Some people are tempted to take out loans from sellers who come to their home but these can really spiral out of control. What may start off as a 300 cash loan with 550 to repay over 12 months can soon turn into a debt of more than 1,000 which may continue to increase as people often keep refinancing the debt as they struggle to keep up the repayments.

Apart from the vile, illegal loan sharks, the worst loans you can get are those secured on your car where you hand over your log book to the lender. Typically these loans may be for around 600 with a massive 2,000 to repay at 400 per cent APR. If you miss a payment you will not only lose your car but still be left with virtually the whole amount to repay. Low income families should also avoid buying appliances on hire purchase as interest rates may be quite high and they may also be forced to take out expensive warranties. We have heard from a customer who bought 1,600 worth of goods - TV, DVD player, washing machine, cooker, TV/DVD combi and needless warranties on each appliance and over 5 years at 40 per cent APR, the person was paying back a total of 4,400.

I would instead urge low income families who need money to pay for Christmas presents or buy appliances to contact the Money Box Credit Union. They will have to save a small amount with them on a regular basis but after a while they will then be eligible for a very low interest loan. If people do decide to take out a loan from a lender other than a credit union, then before even considering options such as doorstep lenders, they should contact My Home Finance which has a branch at 19 West Street, Hereford and is a not for profit social enterprise.

My Home Finance was set up by the National Housing Federation and is supported by government. It offers unsecured loans at an affordable rate and will prove much cheaper than doorstep lenders.'

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