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9th March 2011 EAGLE INN TO STAY OPEN SUBJECT TO CONDITIONSY.....

Herefordshire Council's regulatory subcommittee reviewed the premises licence for The Eagle Inn at Ross after a steady increase in crime and disorder issues was reported to West Mercia Police.

Chief Constable Paul West called for the review after crime and disorder incidents occurred both inside and outside the public house. Jim Mooney, West Mercia Police's licensing officer, told the committee that Enterprise Inns, who own the premises, had been very co-operative with the police and massive improvements had been made at the pub since new licensees took over.

The regulatory subcommittee met on Monday, 7th March and decided to amend the hours for licensable activity, attaching additional conditions to the licence to ensure the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder are met.

Sale of alcohol on the premises will now be from 10am until 11pm (Sunday to Thursday) and 10am to 11.30pm (Friday and Saturday). Other conditions imposed on the licence included having two SIA licensed door staff on the premises from 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, that a personal licence holder be on the premises at all times and that full records be kept and all incidents be recorded.


Inside the Eagle Inn at a recent HAND meeting.

9th March 2011 LIONS WORLD WIDE RALLY ROUND TO HELP CHRISTCHURCH

Lions Clubs from around the world are rallying round to help the people of Christchurch, New Zealand after the recent earthquake left one third of the city needing to be pulled down and rebuilt and extensive damage to residential areas. Many people are without water, power, sanitation, food or even a house.

Ross Lions Club have made their own donation of £250 towards this world wide effort to help and during the last week or so, Lions in New Zealand have:

Delivered 500 portable toilets to Doctors Surgery's, Nursing centres and households in eastern suburbs
Gone door to door in the suburbs with the Red Cross to find those who need assistance.
Provided grocery and fuel vouchers to families in need as well as food, bedding and water.
Volunteered at welfare centres in Christchurch and Timaru.
Raised £20,000 during a weekend fundraiser.
Distributed meals through a food caravan in Christchurch.

Lions from neighbouring areas have travelled to Christchurch to assist in relief projects, such as door-to-door outreach, delivering food and helping with the clean up. Lions in neighbouring towns are organizing dinners for displaced families and housing for Lions in need. They are staffing two daily shifts to assist at the national Red Cross co-ordination office in Wellington and have delivered a 40,000 litre tanker of fresh water to the suburbs of Christchurch. They are also providing weekend breaks to families to escape from the city for two days.

Ross-on-Wye Lions Club are proud to be part of this great international effort, helping our cousins on the other side of the world. For further information on Ross-on-Wye Lions Club, please telephone 0845 8335786, or browse http://www.rossonwyelions.org


9th March 2011 NEW MULTI CHARITY SHOP OPENS IN ROSS ON WYE . . .

A new, temporary charity shop opened in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday and many local causes are set to benefit from the proceeds. The shop which is situated on Gloucester Road, (the old Wine Rack) was officially opened by Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane, ably assisted by Mary Sinclair Powell as the Town Crier, and the proceeds from the first two weeks will go to the excellent youth theatre group X-entricity.

During the first weekend of opening, the shop was very busy and over £400 was spent there. The displays of posters and costumes worn in previous productions by X-entricity were enjoyed by many of the shoppers, however, many were disappointed as none of the costumes, which include the group's recent purchases from the Royal Shakespeare Company are for sale. However, there are many other beautiful and interesting items available, including fabric, hats and some stunning vintage clothes.

The new shop will be supporting a different charity from Saturday, 19th March. They will be raising funds for the local NSPCC.


Rory Trevethan and Ryan Clack from X-entricity with Mary Harries, Kate Barratt, Joyce Thomas, Mary Sinclair Powell, Jo Lane, Jane Hewson and Iris Price.

9th March 2011 THE PINK FLOYD EXPERIENCE COMING TO ROSS-ON-WYE

Pink Floyd fans are in for a real treat on Saturday, 2nd April when the Larruperz Centre plays host to a return visit of 'The Pink Floyd Experience.'

This authentic 9 piece Pink Floyd tribute band emulates the line up of the Pink Floyd band during the Pulse tour and aims to perfect the sound and atmosphere of the great Pink Floyd in concert. The show will feature songs from the 70s giants biggest selling album, 'Dark Side of the Moon' and other albums through to 'The Division Bell.'

The Band is made up of Ross man, Paul Andrews on lead vocals and lead guitar, Mike Bollard on guitar and vocals, David Powers on bass and vocals, Neil Smallman and Dave Woodfield on Keyboards and keeping them all in time is James Archer on drums and percussion.

The three girl choreographed and costumed backing vocal section is lead by Louise Beadle, a seasoned theatre performer in her own right. Louise is joined by Marie McNally on backing vocals. Marie also plays the baritone and tenor saxophones, even swinging the saxophones for Shine on you Crazy Diamond, in pursuit of accuracy. The third backing vocals will be carried out by Lindsay Martin who is currently taking advanced vocal lessons from no less than original Pink Floyd Pulse tour veteran, Sam Brown.

The last visit paid to Ross-on-Wye by the Pink Floyd Experience was incredibly well received and many are hoping to see this fantastic tribute band at the Larruperz Centre on 2nd April. If you would like to see this band for yourself, tickets are available by visiting their web site at www.pinkfloydexperience.co.uk Tickets for the Ross-on-Wye gig cost £12.50, which, we are reliably informed, are well worth the money!


9th March 2011 GOODRICH SCHOOL CELEBRATE WORLD BOOK DAY . . . .

The pupils of Goodrich CE Primary School Celebrated World Book Day in style on Friday, 4th March, by dressing up as the characters from their favourite books. During break times, the younger children enjoyed the stories that were read to them by Year 6 pupils.


The pupils of Goodrich School dressed as characters from their favourite books.

9th March 2011 SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT AT KFC ROSS

Police in Herefordshire have issued a warning to local businesses after a suspicious incident took place in Ross-on-Wye.

The incident occurred at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at the Ross Business Park on Saturday, 5th March. At just after 11am, a man dressed in a blue security guard style uniform, including a helmet with a visor, entered the store carrying a case and stated that we was there to collect their takings. The staff advised the man that the takings had already been collected by the regular security firm, the Post Office, in the usual way. Staff were immediately suspicious of this man and called the police but in the meantime this man left the restaurant and then drove away from the scene in a white van.

A police spokesman said, 'This incident is very unusual and staff at the restaurant had actually received a call the day before (4th March) which they thought was from their usual security firm asking them to change the collection time for their takings. The time suggested did not suit staff and therefore they asked to stick to their normal collection time.

Although at this stage there is no definitive evidence to prove this to be the case, it does seem possible that the man who visited the restaurant on Saturday morning may have been linked to the phone call on the Friday. Although no crime was actually committed during the course of this specific incident, officers investigating the report would like to remind businesses that they should always check the identification of individuals that approach them, especially where transactions involving money are concerned.

Anyone who believes they may have information about this incident, or who the unknown man is, is asked to contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000. Alternatively, please remember that Crimestoppers can also be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information you'd like to pass on without identifying yourself.'


9th March 2011 WALFORD SCHOOL BOY HELPS TO SPREAD MESSAGE

Two Herefordshire school pupils are helping to spread the word about the importance of recycling by having their poster designs displayed on the council's fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles. Harry Davies, aged 10, of Walford Primary School and Sarah Bedford, aged 13, a pupil at Kington Lady Hawkins' School, won the top prizes in a competition organized by Herefordshire Council's waste management team.

The children had to design posters using the three Rs theme - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The winners also won £100 for their schools and a framed picture of their posters. Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for environment and strategic housing, and Councillor Phil Edwards, chairman of the council's overview and scrutiny committee, judged the winning posters. There were more than 400 entries from five high schools and 32 primary schools.

Councillor Jarvis said, 'The standard of entries in the competition was really high and it was difficult to choose winners in both the high school and primary school categories. Sarah and Harry will now have their winning designs displayed on Focsa's entire fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles in Herefordshire, amounting to a total of 37 trucks. There are 2,044 miles of roads in the county so their design will also be seen far and wide.

Recycling rates continue to rise in the county but we can all do more and we are hoping the eye-catching designs will help us get the message across. Occasions like this make being a councillor really worthwhile.'


Councillor John Jarvis with Harry Davies of Walford School who is proud to see his winning design on the side of the truck.

9th March 2011 SCHOOLS FORUM PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR MUSIC TUITION

The future of Herefordshire Council's Music Service came under discussion last week as Schools Forum pledged to continue supporting music tuition in the county's schools.

The council's music service provides musical tuition to more than 3,000 children every week. In addition it manages and maintains 3,000 instruments which are loaned to children, and gives curriculum support to many of the county's schools. The service also provides whole class instrumental music tuition to a quarter of primary schools, through a government programme which is free to pupils.

The majority of services it provides are paid for directly by parents and schools, and in order to encourage as many children as possible to enjoy learning to play a musical instrument, tuition costs have been kept as low as possible. This has resulted in the service having to deal with an overspend each year and current budgetary pressures mean this cannot continue.

Schools Forum met on Wednesday, 2nd March to consider the future of the service and agreed to commit £25,000 to them over the next five years in order to help deal with its debts. There may also be a further contribution if there are any under spends from this year's education budget. This was agreed on condition that the way the Music Service operates is changed to make it sustainable for September 2011.

A number of options, currently out to consultation, were presented to Schools Forum for consideration. The option most favoured by the forum was that of an accredited teacher scheme to replace the existing one. This would involve each peripatetic music teacher currently employed by the council, becoming self employed. The music service would run a quality assurance scheme, liaise with schools and provide training to make sure quality was maintained.

Kathy Roberts, assistant director for Herefordshire Council said, 'Schools Forum recognizes the important role the music service plays in helping children access good quality music education. However, the service has been running at a loss for some years now and in the current climate this cannot continue. The forum's favoured option of an accredited teacher scheme is already up and running very well in a number of other authorities, including Derbyshire County Council. As well as being more cost effective, it offers greater flexibility for pupils and schools.'

The recommendation from Schools Forum will be fed back to the council and considered alongside feedback from the consultation.


9th March 2011 WYE VALLEY AONB LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT 40 YEARS

The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit kicked off it's ruby anniversary celebrations by holding a conference at the Chase Hotel in Ross-on-Wye on Thursday, 24th February, exactly 40 years to the day of the designation as a protected landscape in 1971.

The event, organized with the Heritage Lottery funded Overlooking the Wye Scheme, now in its last year of operation, invited 80 representatives from Herefordshire Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Forest of Dean District Council, partnership organizations, volunteers and community groups, to look back at notable events and partnerships which had occurred since the designation. However, the conference was not only a look back at the past and a pat on the back for the Monmouth based Wye Valley AONB team but a way to look forward. To the next forty years.

Workshops were held to determine how people felt about how the work to conserve and enhance the landscape could be improved in the future. Presentations were given by Andrew Blake Wye Valley AONB Officer, Howard Davies, Chief Executive Officer for the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB), Richard Denman from the Tourism Company, Ashley Thomas Chairman of the Wye Valley Joint Advisory Committee and Sue Middleton Overlooking the Wye Scheme Manager who highlighted the importance of the work undertaken and how the area designation affected people who lived, worked and visited the Wye Valley.

This positive approach to determining the course the unit will take in the next few years was invaluable and highlighted the need for more communication about the landscape and how its positive effect can boost business, tourism and life generally in the area.

There are more really great free, family events planned for the anniversary year including: 'Hands on History' at Old Station Tintern on Sunday, 18th May, an Iron Age Rampage on Sunday, 22nd May at Symonds Yat Rock, 'On the Way to the Wye,' a Georgian celebration at Ross-on-Wye on Saturday, 18th June and 'Medieval Mayhem' at Chepstow Castle on Sunday, 18th September.

For further information on these events, log onto the brand new Wye Valley AONB website www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk. The new site will be launched by the end of March and will contain all the information about their events programme.


Andrew Blake addresses the AONB conference at the Chase Hotel.

9th March 2011 SHARED ICT SERVICE WILL SAVE £130,000 PER ANNUM.....

Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire are the only local authority and NHS Trust in England to date to adopt cross-public sector shared services in England and to share an ICT team, which means they can deliver substantial cost savings for both organizations.

Back in April 2010, Herefordshire Council's ICT team moved the monitoring and management of its community wide telephone and broadband network from a managed service in house and selected Updata Infrastructure Ltd (Updata) to take on the provision, rental and management of physical cables that link all local government sites. This move saved around £1 million over three years.

From March 2011, an additional 20 NHS community hospitals, clinics, and corporate NHS sites in the region will be incorporated into this same network, making use of the council's network to deliver shared services for up to 2,000 more NHS staff. This has enabled the NHS to cancel existing health care networks to those sites, allowing NHS Herefordshire to make an additional saving of £130,000 per annum.

Zack Pandor, director of information and transformation for Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire said, 'This work contributes in a significant way to enable us to work together across organizational boundaries, while driving down cost, minimizing inefficiencies and maximizing investment in ICT. This community wide network provides a fast, stable and resilient business grade network for sites across local government, health and schools, and includes access to telephones, files, folders, email, anti virus, web filtering and, in the future, video conferencing.'

'Since sharing IT services in September 2009, Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire continue to deliver significant costs savings for local government,' said Vic Baldorino, cofounder and executive director of Updata. 'This project is another great, cost saving, shared services example. Along with significantly lower operational expenditure, the project will 'keep local traffic local', deliver better network performance and enable public sector organizations. in the region to work more closely together, with a view to enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.'


9th March 2011

FRANK FIELD BACKS JESSE'S PFI REBATE CAMPAIGN


Frank Field, MP with Jesse Norman, MP..

One of the most respected figures in Parliament, the Right Honourable Frank Field MP, has announced that he is supporting the parliamentary PFI Rebate campaign.

The campaign, led by local MP, Jesse Norman, aims to claw back a rebate of £500 million from the banks, construction companies and service providers who take part in the Private Finance Initiative. The campaign now has 68 members across all the major parties.

Mr Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead since 1979 said, 'I chair the new Academy in Birkenhead and we have ‘inherited’ a PFI for which we pay 16.3 per cent a year plus management charges; whatever they are! At the end of the repayment period we will not own the PFI building but we can bid for it. It is quite clear that our local authority was taken for a ride in signing this agreement and it is crucial that those that have so benefited from this one-sided arrangement begin some repayments to hard-pressed taxpayers. That is why I am supporting the PFI Rebate Campaign.'

Jesse Norman, MP said, 'We massively welcome Frank Field to the campaign. Frank is hugely respected across the political spectrum, and his authority and support emphasize how important it is to achieve savings in the PFI at a time of national economic crisis.

We continue to make great progress towards our goal. In recent weeks the Treasury has published new interim guidance for managing PFI contracts, the MOD has announced that it is opening up three of its contracts, and the Cabinet Office is taking a forensic look at the £835m contract at the Queen's Hospital in Romford.

Frank's membership now makes this a genuinely all-party campaign, and we would encourage other Labour MPs who are critical of the PFI to join us.'


9th March 2011 WATER WATER EVERYWHERE AT ST EDWARDS

Water leaking through the roof and rising from the ground ….. such is the problem facing the church of St Edward the Confessor in the village of Kempley. Built just a century ago of locally sourced materials by local craftsmen, this unique Grade II* listed church was described by John Betjeman as 'a mini cathedral to the Arts and Crafts Movement.' Now the church faces the need for major renovation to stop water ingress through the roof and rising from the ground.

An appeal for financial support was launched on Saturday, 5th March with a St David's Day Concert by the Abertillery Orpheus Male Voice Choir, led by Stephen Bard. The 40-strong choir performed a rousing programme of Welsh and other religious and secular music to a packed and receptive audience in St Edward's church. The choir was accompanied by the well-known pianist Penny Hughes and supported by a very able young soloist, Hannah Webley, a drama student from the University of Glamorgan. The visit of the choir was sponsored by local resident Mrs Lynette Greenway, under the auspices of The Friends of Kempley Churches.

Speaking at the event, Professor Basil Jarvis, Chairman of Trustees of The Friends said, 'St Edward's church is important in the heritage of Kempley. The estimated costs of renovation work are in the order of £100,000. Whilst this is not a good time to be seeking money, if we do not take action now, the church will fall into disrepair and an important heritage building would be lost from an historic landscape widely renowned for its extensive wild daffodils.

We trust that many people will visit Kempley over the Daffodil Weekend on 19th and 20th March and support our appeal.'


The Abertillery Orpheus Male Voice Choir give a concert in St. Edwards Church.

St. Edwards Church, Kempley, surrounded by the famous miniature daffodils.

9th March 2011 ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN LEOMINSTER . . . .. . . . . . .. . . .

Police officers are investigating an attempted robbery which took place in Leominster on Thursday, 3rd March. At around 1pm, as the victim, a 39 year old woman, walked along an alleyway that leads on to Etnam Street, an unknown man approached her from behind. Without warning the man grabbed the victim's shoulder bag and tried to snatch it from her.

A police spokesman said, 'Although the man pulled very hard on the woman's bag, she managed to keep hold of it and not let him steal it. When he realized the woman was not releasing her bag, the man ran off quickly in the direction of the Leisure Centre grounds. Police officers called to the scene immediately carried out a search of the area for the man but unfortunately they were unable to trace him.

The man who attempted to steal the victim's bag is described as being white, aged around 18, as roughly 6 feet 2 inches high and as wearing a grey hooded top with the hood up. Although shaken by this incident, thankfully the victim was not physically harmed in any way. However, officers are obviously keen to hear from anyone who has information about this incident, especially anyone who thinks they may know who the offender is.

Anyone who believes they may have information about this incident is asked to call Police in Leominster on 0300 333 3000. Alternatively, please remember that Crimestoppers can also be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.


9th March 2011

ART FUND GIFT OF BRIAN HATTON PORTRAIT TO MUSEUM


Brian Hatton's self portrait.

Hereford Museum has recently acquired an important self portrait by local artist Brian Hatton (1886-1916).The work has been generously donated to the museum by a relative of the artist, Dr. Geoffrey Vevers, through the Art Fund, the national fund-raising charity for works of art. It has just gone on display at the museum.

Dr. Vevers is related to Brian Hatton through his great grandmother, who was Brian's Aunt Ada Vevers, herself an amateur artist. Ada's son Geoffrey grew up alongside Brian in Hereford. As young men the two cousins shared accommodation together in London before World War I.

The Art Fund helps museums and galleries across the UK to acquire new works for their collections in different ways: by giving grants towards buying works, by fund-raising and levering additional support, and by providing an expert service enabling individuals to give or bequeath works to public collections.

Dr. Vevers acquire the portrait in 2008. He has chosen to gift it through the Art Fund, which has strict terms and conditions on how gifted artworks should be conserved and displayed. Works given through the Art Fund are safeguarded in perpetuity and remain accessible to the public.

Dr Geoffrey Vevers said, 'The collection of Brian Hatton's works held in Hereford deserves to be made more widely available. Towards this aim images are now available on the website where it will be noted that there is no self portrait of the artist in his teens. This picture fills that gap and is therefore an appropriate addition to the collection.'

The portrait depicts Brian Hatton at the age of about 14 years old. At this time Brian had already received some recognition of his talent. He had won medals for drawings he submitted to the Royal Drawing Society, which was a national competition for budding artists. As a result of his success there, he had come to the attention of G.F. Watts, the renowned Victorian artist. Watts continued to take an interest in Brian's artistic life and corresponded with his mother discussing his training as an artist.

Brian also came into contact with the Royal family with his success at the Royal Drawing Society. In 1898, at the age of ten, he won the Gold Star for the drawings he submitted in the competition which was open to artists up to the age of 20 years. Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's fourth daughter presented the medal, which she redesigned on this occasion, thinking the original to be of poor design.

In spite of his success Brian remained modest about his abilities as a boy. His great interests were landscapes, often including farm labourers, animals (especially horses) which he found in the countryside around Warham and Breinton, near his home in Broomy Hill. As a young man he was beginning to establish his career as a portrait painter, which was more lucrative work, before the untimely interruption of the War.

The Hereford Museum holds a substantial body of work by Hatton, representing all stages of his life; from his boyhood sketches, to his first portrait commissions. It is an invaluable record of a developing talent and the life of young man who, tragically, was killed in action during the First World War. Brian lost his life on Easter Sunday, 23rd April 1916, at Oghratina in Egypt.


9th March 2011 AGGRAVATED BURGLARY IN CLIFFORD .. . . .. . . . . . . ......

Herefordshire Police are investigating an aggravated burglary that occurred near Hay-on-Wye on Saturday, 5th March. The incident occurred at a property in Clifford where, at around 3am it appears that five individuals forced their way into the property and threatened a man and a woman who were inside. While these threats were being made it appears the man and the woman were doused in petrol but thankfully this petrol was not actually set alight.

Speaking about this incident, Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes said, 'This was a frightening incident and one which police responded to immediately. Five people have been arrested in connection with this incident and a 22-year-old man has been charged with aggravated burglary and affray. This man appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court this morning while four other individuals remain under investigation by police.

This is an extremely unusual offence and I'd like to reassure people in the local community that although they're probably shocked by it, we are confident it is an isolated incident and that there are no wider issues for them to worry about. The community around Clifford and Hay-on-Wye is a tightly knit one and I'd call upon anyone with information about this incident to make contact with us. We believe there are people out there who know the people involved and also why the incident itself occurred. This incident is so unusual in the area that we are determined to catch those responsible for it and information provided by local people could be vital to help us do just that.

Anyone who believes they may have information about this incident, or the motives behind it, is asked to contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000. Alternatively, please remember that Crimestoppers can also be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information you'd like to pass on without identifying yourself.'


9th March 2011 GRANGE COURT MODEL UNVEILED IN LEOMINSTER . . .

As work progresses on the major refurbishment of historic Grange Court in Leominster, visitors to the market town will now be able to see a model of the building as it was originally constructed.

Grange Court, which was built in 1633 by the King's Carpenter John Abel, was originally sited at The Buttercross, on the junction of High Street and Broad Street and served as a town hall with an open air market beneath. In 1856, Grange Court was dismantled, moved and rebuilt at its current site in Pinsley Road as a Victorian private residence. Now a bronze tactile scale model of Grange Court has been unveiled at the building's first site at The Buttercross.

Mayor of Leominster, Councillor Roger Hunt, who unveiled the model said, 'Tourism is vital for Leominster and this model will provide another link to get tourists here as well as enticing them to go and see the original building.'

Martin Baines from the Leominster Area Regeneration Company (LARC) added, 'This model is a first for Herefordshire and is the ideal way to show where Grange Court first was and what it looked like then.'

Funding for the model came from Advantage West Midlands Better Welcome Fund, Barclays Bank plc, Marches Housing Association, Leominster Civic Society, Bill Jackson and N. and M. Baines Architects. The Dog Rose Trust of Ludlow advised on how the model could best be cast, the mould was made by Omega Models of Glasgow and the final casting was done by Castle Fine Arts Foundry at Oswestry.

The £2.8 million 'Grange Court: building in the past for the future' project, has been funded by grants from the Big Lottery Community Assets Programme, with £1 million from Advantage West Midlands,£750,000 from the RDPE Rural Development Programme for England and £1 million from the Social Investment Business Community Builders Fund with the difference made up by Marches Town Initiative funding, Leominster Town Council and Herefordshire Council.

As part of project, Herefordshire Council will transfer the freehold of the completed building to the Leominster Area Regeneration Company Limited (LARC) who will manage the new community facility.


Denise Collier, Leominster Mayor, Councillor Roger Hunt and Martin Baines from LARC with the new tactile model of Grange Court.

9th March 2011 EXTRA FUNDING TO REPAIR WINTER DAMAGE ON ROADS.....

Herefordshire Council has welcomed news that local authority's in England are to receive £100 million from the Government towards the repair of road damage caused by the worst December weather ever recorded. This should mean that Herefordshire receives in excess of £1 million which will be put towards the delivery of effective road maintenance.

The 2009 / 2010 winter resulted in more than £5 million of damage to county roads and the council has delivered an extensive programme of maintenance to combat this deterioration and continue to improve the overall condition of our roads. The severe conditions experienced during this current winter have led to further damage and it is estimated that this will cost £2 million to repair.

Councillor Brian Wilcox of Herefordshire Council said, 'We have suffered two extreme winters in a row and I welcome this money which will help us to ensure the county's roads can be restored to an acceptable standard. Over this last year the council has run a Better Roads campaign and invested £11.7 million into road maintenance, focusing on returning the roads to a high standard rather than just carrying out spot repairs to potholes. Throughout this campaign, we focused on A and B roads as a priority and have treated more than 124 miles of the county's roads, amounting to more than 6.5 per cent of the total network.

The Better Roads campaign has proved to be extremely successful and most of the A and B roads, which extend to 431 miles, have received substantial attention. While still having to ensure that the principal roads are properly maintained, we can now use this Government money to shift the focus towards the C and unclassified road network, where the impact of the winter weather has been more extreme.

The C roads amount to 663 miles in the county while unclassified roads account for 933 miles of the total network so we will have to prioritize the routes and will be focusing on those where this additional money will give us the greatest return in terms of overall road condition and, as a result, our customer's satisfaction with the state of Herefordshire's roads.'

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