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Tudorville and District Community Centre was officially opened on Saturday afternoon and many people turned up to see the transformation that has taken place at the once defunct Tudorville Youth Club.

Councillor Jenny Hyde was particularly delighted to see the Community Centre open for in her role as Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for children and young people, the unpleasant task of making the decision to declare the youth centre as no longer fit for purpose fell on her shoulders. Once that decision had been made, however, the local residents association sprang into action, formed a strong committee and applied to Herefordshire Council for an asset transfer, enabling them to take over the running of the centre. A sound business plan was formed, funding applied for and many fund raising events held to show the council that they were serious in their endeavour and now the building belongs to the community.

None of this would have been possible without the strong community spirit of the people of Tudorville, led by committee Chairman, Colin Gray, Vice Chair, Anthony Lowther and the hard working members of the committee who are to be congratulated on their success.

The opening ceremony itself was performed by Colin Gray, after a short speech of thanks by Anthony Lowther. Representatives of many local organizations were present along with town and county councillors, Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane, Mrs. Joyce Thomas, MBE-DL and two members of the Local Policing Team, CSO Paul Cowmeadow and PC Paul Challenger. Councillor Gordon Lucas was also in attendance, quietly supporting the event. He was somewhat taken aback when invited to join in a group photograph, protesting that he hadn't done anything towards the work. That may be so Gordon, but you along with many other took the time and trouble to congratulate those who did. Local children's entertainer Uncle Jack kept the local youngsters entertained in the meeting room whilst the official proceedings took place

Although there is still a little work to be done on the centre, The TDCC, as it is now known is a facility that will benefit not just Tudorville, but the surrounding area. The centre is available for hire and, subject to local support, it is planned to operate Jumpstart sessions for the under five's. We wish all at Tudorville Community Centre every success.

Colin Gray prepares to cut the ribbon assisted by the comittee of Tudorville & District Community Centre.

Tudorville & District Community Centre is now officially open.

The many visitors who attended were very impressed with the changes to this once defunct building.

Councillor Phil Cutter, Joyce Thomas, CSO Paul Cowmeadow, Councillor Anne Gray, Councillor Gordon Lucas and LPO, PC Paul Challenger.


Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire highlighted the difficulty faced by older pensioners at Special Metals Wiggin last week in Parliament and was delighted when Pensions Minister Steve Webb MP agreed to meet him and pensioners' representatives to discuss the situation.

Jesse has been campaigning since 2006 on behalf of pensioners at Special Metals Wiggin, who have not had an increase in their pensions since 1995. A loophole in the law has allowed the company not to upgrade their pensions in line with inflation, as all pensions have been required to be since 1997. The result has been that these pensioners' incomes have more than halved in real terms because of the effect of inflation over the intervening 16 years.

In 2008 the company proposed an ex gratia payment of 225,000 in recognition of the hardship caused, which the pensioners accepted, only for the company to withdraw the proposal after the trustees had agreed a new pensions schedule. Now the hope is that a meeting with the minister will help to unlock the situation.

Commenting on the news, Jesse said, 'I am delighted that the Pensions Minister has agreed to meet with me and with pensioners' representatives. This is a very difficult situation which has caused great hardship and we need to resolve it.'


Herefordshire Council is urging all communities who are planning street parties to mark this year's Royal Wedding to ensure they are properly prepared for the event.

If the street party will require partial or complete closure of a road, an application for this has to be made six weeks in advance to the council's contractors Amey. There will, however, be no charge for these closures. Organizers of street parties also need to be aware that they will need to obtain £5 million of public liability insurance to cover their events. For further details please contact 01432 261800 or email

If the street parties are to involve having a bar, band or dancing, they may also require a Temporary Event Notice which covers up to 500 people attending and must be applied for 12 working days in advance. A TEN will cost 21. Applications for a TEN can be made online by logging onto or by calling 01432 260105.

Councillor John Jarvis said, 'We hope many communities in the county will want to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton by holding street parties. The wedding is now only three months away and we would urge communities to get their applications in as soon as possible for either road closures or temporary event notices or both.

I appreciate the amount of organization involved in planning such events and our highways and licensing staff are able to advise on your own requirements.'

19th January 2011 MATTHEW AND ALF JOINT TOP CUBS 2010 ....

The Ross on Wye (Aztec) Cub pack finally managed to hold their annual end of year concert last Tuesday. Normally held in December, the concert had been postponed due to the winter weather. However, the event was well worth waiting for. The Cubs performed several humorous sketches and there were musical interludes from George, Thomas and Matthew.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Top Cub award for 2010. The winners were Alf McAninly and Matthew Shaw. Akela, Robin Shaw said that it was the first time in his experience of Cubs that there had been an exact dead heat for top place.

Matthew and Alf proudly display their Top Cub 2010 awards.


Herefordshire Council has agreed to release funding to develop 13 new or extended play areas across the county. The funding, which came from the previous government's Playbuilder programme, resulted in ten new exciting play areas being developed in Herefordshire last year with plans to fund a further 15 projects to be completed in 2011. However, last summer, funds were frozen by the new coalition government.

Herefordshire Council lobbied the Department of Education, putting forward a strong case for each of the prospective projects and illustrating the hard work and commitment made by community groups to get their projects off the ground. As a result, the government agreed to release some of the cash (387,200 from the original 566,200). However, this money was no longer ring fenced which meant Herefordshire Council had to decide whether to use the money for play equipment as originally planned, or to use it elsewhere to ease growing budgetary pressures.

Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people said, 'Although times are undoubtedly challenging and the council is having to make many difficult decisions at the moment, we remain committed to ensuring our children and young people have good quality services, and healthy and fulfilling lives. Play is an incredibly important part of this.

We found ourselves in a position where communities had come together to form groups and apply for other sources of funding. They had invested in getting professional plans developed and were almost ready to begin their building works when the fund was frozen. I am delighted the council has approved these new play areas which will provide much fun and healthy outdoor play for our youngsters.'

The council has agreed to commit the remaining 387,200 to the playbuilder project which will fund play areas in Llangrove, Bromyard, Burghill, Wellington Place, Hereford, Kingstone, Kington Rec, Ledbury, Leintwardine, Queenswood Hereford, Sutton St Nicholas, Weobley, Wigmore and Withington.


Herefordshire's independent retailers are being given a final chance to make improvements to their shop fronts with the last round of grants from Herefordshire Council. The popular shop front grant scheme aims to support local businesses while conserving the county's heritage by restoring traditional shop fronts which adds to the distinctiveness of the city, the towns and streets.

Natalia Silver, the council's assistant director for economy and culture said, 'Independent shops are an important part of the Herefordshire appeal for local people and visitors. This scheme gives a little bit of support to businesses at a time when they need it, which in turn adds to the county shopping experience.'

The countywide shop front grant scheme is open to independent county shopkeepers to restore or reinstate their traditional shop front who have not received a shop front grant within the last five years. The maximum grant is 2,000, or 50 per cent of the costs, which ever is the lesser. The deadline for the scheme is Monday, 7th February.

The scheme excludes: banks, building societies, private residences, franchises, guest houses, public houses and charity shops. To obtain an application form contact Herefordshire Council's delegated grants team on 01432 260753 or email the team at

For advice on project proposals with regard to permissions, acceptable design, and colours, please contact the conservation team on the following telephone numbers.

For Hereford City and the immediately surrounding wards, contact Neil Robertson on 01432 261950. Chris Partrick is the contact for Ross-on-Wye, Bromyard, Ledbury and East Herefordshire and can be contacted on 01432 261951. Those in the Golden Valley, Leominster and North west Herefordshire should contact Robert Walker on 01432 383694.


Herefordshire Council is urging motorists to be vigilant and drive carefully after the worst December weather ever recorded has caused potholes to occur on some of the county's roads. The council's service delivery partner, Amey Herefordshire is out and about working to tackle this problem.

Clive Hall, Herefordshire Council's highway network manager said, 'Motorists are being urged to be aware as both the extreme cold we had last month and now the heavy rain has inevitably lead to potholes occurring. We carried out extensive work during 2010 to improve the overall condition of our roads and rectify the damage inflicted to our roads by last winter. This work should mean that the pothole problem is less extensive than that experienced in the early months of 2010. However, potholes have and will still occur on roads that we have not been able to resurface or at locations where the fabric of the road is stressed by heavy traffic movements or water does not drain well. As such motorists should be aware.

Amey Herefordshire's crews are out tackling the problems and anyone who wishes to report particularly problematic roads should telephone Streetscene on 01432 261800 or email '

19th January 2011 THEFT OF HEATING FUEL............................

West Mercia Police are urging residents who use oil to heat their properties to be extra vigilant following a theft in the county. Hundreds of litres of heating oil were stolen from a local farm property near St Weonards, Hereford on Tuesday, 11th January. A number of similar thefts have also occurred recently in Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Sergeant David Bishop at Hereford Police Station said, 'While this is not a large problem, we have noticed a slight increase in such crimes in the county. It is possibly due to the increase in fuel costs over recent months so they may become more prevalent across the country. We are warning local people who use heating oil to take precautions against being targeted by thieves.

Among other security tips, we recommend fitting an alarm which rings if the oil level suddenly drops or installing security lights to alert residents when there are intruders. Residents are also urged to keep any eye out for unusual activity or vehicles and report anything suspicious as soon as possible on 0300 333 3000, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Of course, if you see a theft in progress, call 999.'

Sergeant Bishop recommends the following hints and tips, which can help reduce the chances of heating oil being stolen from your property.

Plant shrubs or install fences to hide your tank from view. This is especially important if you live close to the road. (Although heating oil theft has also been known to occur at secluded properties with long drives).
Remember to check your tank's oil levels on a regular basis.
Where possible, install security lighting that covers your tank and the immediate surrounding area.
If your tank is openly accessible to all, consider re-siting it to an area or building where it is better protected
Be extra vigilant of tankers or large vehicles close to your property. Note down any suspicious vehicles' registration numbers and report them to the police.
If your tank is located in an outbuilding, ensure it is kept locked and secured at all times.
Remove any empty containers or drums from the immediate area. They could draw attention to the presence of your oil tank.
Deter thieves from entering your property by installing and using lockable gates and by maintaining boundaries and perimeter fencing.

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