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The boat I use for photographing and filming the River Wye was stolen from my garden over night on Tuesday/Wednesday 22/23 March 2011. If you find yourself by the river or see a boat (pictured below) in the area, would you please report it to the local police. The boat will be identifiable to the police as I marked it using 'Smartwater'.

Thank you for your help.


The stolen boat.


The South Wales Classic Car Club visited Ross-on-Wye on Sunday and members enjoyed a lovely drive through beautiful Herefordshire countryside before stopping at Wilton Court for a delicious lunch.

Over twenty beautiful classic cars carrying 42 members took part in the rally and an enjoyable afternoon was had by all.

Members of the South Wales Vintage Car Club begin to meet at Wilton Court for Lunch

Some of the beautiful vintage cars which took part in teh rally.


NHS Herefordshire are inviting people to go along to the county's hospitals to try the food for themselves at a week long event which aims to reassure residents and patients that the quality of food and drink provided in the county's hospitals continues to be a top priority for the primary care trust.

In the last 12 months NHS Herefordshire has put the spotlight on hospital food and in order to provide more food choices for patients in hospital, has worked with its partner Sodexho, to bring in a new system of delivering meals. The system, called Cook-freeze, provides meals in two or four portion sizes (rather than eight) which makes it easier to give patients their first choice and means there is less waste. In addition, dieticians and nutrition experts have been working on menus to ensure that meals for people with swallowing difficulties are nutritious and appetizing. During the week long event, residents will also be able to learn how cleaning standards are monitored and look at recent improvements made to minimize infection and maintain high standards of cleanliness.

Events have already been held at Hillside Intermediate Care Centre and at Hereford's Stonebow Unit and further events are to be held as follows:

Ross Community Hospital on Wednesday, 23rd March and Bromyard Community Hospital on Thursday, 24th March. Leominster Community Hospital will be holding their event on 16th October.

Staff from both the primary care trust and Sodexho will be on hand in the afternoons from 2pm until 4pm to answer questions about food which is modified for people with swallowing difficulties and how they ensure meals are nutritional. They will also explain how feedback is used to keep cleaning standards high and control infection.

Trish Jay, NHS Herefordshire said, 'This is a very hands on event with an opportunity to sample hospital food for yourself and test how clean your hands are. It's very important to us that the hospital environment helps patients get well as quickly as possible, so good quality appetizing meals, together with clean, comfortable surroundings are an essential part of the care that we provide. This week long event is a wonderful opportunity to reassure the people of Herefordshire of the high standards we are achieving. I hope as many people as possible are able to visit, ask questions and taste for themselves, the quality of food we provide.'

Patients and visitors visiting the information stands will also be asked to comment on the food, the standard of cleaning and the general environment so that improvements can continue to be made.


Ross-on-Wye supporters of Acorns Childrens' Hospice had a very successful year in 2010, raising money for this very important charity who help children suffering from cancer and supporting their families. The team raised a staggering £11,465 last year by holding a great number of fun events such as Race Nights, an auction, barbecues,a fancy dress bike ride, a sponsored walk and a charity head shave amongst other things, including a charity football match between Ross Old Boys and the Aston Villa Veterans side.

Led by Steve 'Ozzy' Bond and Garry Davies, the group of local men, their wives, families and friends are continuing their support for Acorns and already have a full programme of fun events lined up for 2011. The group are ready to welcome new members to help them in their endeavour and any sponsorship will be gratefully received.

The John Kyrle High School Dinner Ladies are currently running a sponsored slim which will run until 18th July and Race Night has already been held at their HQ, the Man of Ross Inn. This coming Sunday, 27th March a sponsored walk has been organized and participants will leave HQ at 10:30am. Why not go along and give them your support?

Details of future events being arranged will shortly appear on the What's On? page of We wish the team every success.


Austin-Smith:Lord (ASL) Architects (Cardiff) have been announced as the winners of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) open ideas competition which will inform the redevelopment of Hereford's Butter Market

Commissioned by Hereford Futures Ltd, the competition invited architects to come up with innovative suggestions for how the market could be used in a more flexible and multifunctional way that would enhance the retail environment, and provide a long-term sustainable future. On the competition short list were local practice RRA Architects, Ryder Architects from Liverpool, and Troy Kidsley Architecture, Bromsgrove. Chaired by former CABE and English Heritage Commissioner Les Sparks OBE, the Jury Panel included two RIBA architectural advisors including Hook Mason from Hereford, the Chairman of the Butter Market Independent Traders Association Len Tawn, and representatives from Herefordshire Council and Hereford Futures.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, of Herefordshire Council said, 'The Butter Market has enormous potential and we're delighted with the quality of vision and the range of ideas which have come forward. The winning entry has brought together many ideas, which some of the others suggested individually, and produced a wonderfully creative vision with innovative and thrilling use of the space available. This is an exciting time for the city centre and we hope the Butter Market will be central to this. It has a key role to play in drawing in visitors and shoppers and will, I'm sure, provide the space to become a showcase for locally produced goods.'

Councillor Blackshaw added that a process to establish a preferred developer is progressing and that an announcement on this is due later this Spring. It will be the developer's responsibility to see the Butter Market transformed to benefit existing market retailers, local producers and businesses, and also become a 'must see' tourist and shopper location in the city centre.

Len Tawn, chairman of the Hereford Butter Market Independent Traders Association said he was pleased that the competition had been successful and that progress towards refurbishing the Butter Market was continuing. 'The Butter Market has a special place in Hereford city centre so I'm delighted that this phase is now complete and we look forward to hearing who the developer is so the real work can get underway to create a market hall the city can truly be proud of.'

ASL's scheme impressed the judges on many levels; externally through its expression of the roof form and easily identifiable entrances, and internally through the creation of a light and airy welcoming market hall, a new multi functional events space to host a range of anchor events and opportunities for trade and exposition, and the introduction of creative arts opportunities for culturally based industries. ASL's team included DCA Consultants, Lee Wakemans and WSP.

Martin Roe, Partner at Austin-Smith:Lord commented 'Austin-Smith:Lord has a long history of working with existing and historic buildings and of finding ways to breathe new life into them through innovative reuse and adaptation so we were very excited by the challenges set by the Butter Market brief. Regeneration projects like this represent the future life blood of our UK towns and cities and are of crucial importance as we seek to preserve our environmental and economic assets. The client has already demonstrated an enlightened approach to design and regeneration and we now look forward to working with them towards the realization of this key project.'

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw with Len Tawn, chairman of the Buttermarket Independent Traders Association, with an image from the winning entry.


The Big Lunch is being held on Sunday, 5th June and both Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire are supporting the nation-wide event and urging communities to get involved. The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project with the aim of getting as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours for a few hours of community, friendship and fun. A record number of people are expected to take part this year.

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities and the best part of a million people have taken part each year. A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in a garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

If street parties involve having a bar, band or dancing, they may 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.

Organizers of street parties which will involve road closures are advised to consider obtaining public liability insurance. In many circumstances this can be arranged through Herefordshire Council at nil cost and may also be available through your parish council. Road closures also need to be notified to the council by telephoning 01432 261800 or emailing

If you're planning a big event with more than 50 people attending you might be able to get some funding to help you. The Awards for All scheme gives small grants out throughout the year to help people make a difference to their community. You must be a community or not-for-profit group, a parish or town council, health body or a school to apply and to get funding in time for your Big Lunch, you need to get your application in soon. For further details call 0845 4 10 20 30.

To get your free Big Lunch Organizer's Pack register your event at The pack includes leaflets, posters, balloons and all that you need to start planning an event this summer. You can have a chat with The Big Lunch team by calling 0845 850 8181 or sending an email to

23rd March 2011 NO BUTTS - IT' S LITTER...

Smokers in Herefordshire will be warned 'No Butts - It's Litter' this spring, as part of a countywide campaign which will be launched at the end of the month. Herefordshire Council's community protection team is launching the campaign in High Town, Hereford, next Wednesday, 30th March with the aim of reminding smokers that cigarette butts are classed as litter and that they could face a fine of up to £80 if they discard them on the ground.

The team will also be visiting Kington Market Hall on Tuesday, 5th April, Market Square in Bromyard on Thursday, 7th April, Ross Market Hall on Thursday, 14th April, Ledbury Market Hall on Tuesday, 26th April and Leominster Corn Square on Friday, 6th May, to reinforce the message across the market towns.

Shane Hancock, regulatory services manager for Herefordshire Council said, 'Smokers can easily dispose of their butts in ashtrays or appropriate bins rather than dropping them on the floor or throwing them out of car windows, both of which could land them with an £80 fixed penalty notice. The problem is that most smokers don't even consider this littering, but cigarette butts are one of the most common items we remove across the county.

In the UK, approximately 200 million cigarette butts are thrown away every day, a figure that rose dramatically after the introduction of the 2007 smoking ban. Not only does it take a staggering 12 years for one cigarette to biodegrade, but irresponsibly discarded cigarettes also cause fires and health complications. We want to remind smokers to be responsible and dispose of their cigarettes properly, because otherwise it could prove to be an expensive mistake. Herefordshire Council will not tolerate people needlessly dropping cigarette butts, which we proved last year by issuing 88 fixed penalty tickets for this exact offence. We've even taken legal action against those offenders who refused to pay their fine.'

As part of the campaign, smokers will be offered free portable ashtrays as an incentive to correctly dispose of their butts and these have been sponsored by the council's managing agent Amey. Mark Thomas, Amey service director said, 'We are responsible for removing litter throughout the county and cigarette butts are a major concern. They're not only unsightly but also prove particularly difficult to remove as they fall into grates and small cracks in the pavement, which means normal cleaning processes often fail to detect them. I sincerely hope people will take advantage of the free portable ashtrays and use them when they're unable to access a normal litter bin. This will also save on cleaning costs and ultimately tax payer's money.'

For those wishing to stop smoking, help and support is available by calling 01432 383568 or visiting


Businesses in Leominster have been given a new radio system that will keep them in touch with the police and each other to help combat alcohol related disorder in the town.

West Mercia Police and the licensing trade are already working together as part of a Pub Watch project called HAND (Herefordshire Against Night Time Disorder), which aims to enhance the safety of customers, staff and visitors to the area. Now, more than 20 pubs, bars and off licences in the town can be in constant contact through the handheld radios, which have been funded by the West Mercia Police Authority and Leominster Town Council.

If a premise suffers from an incident of disorder, antisocial behaviour, crimes such as theft, banned troublemakers or underage drinkers, the staff can now quickly warn other businesses or request support. It also helps them contact officers patrolling the town as well as Herefordshire Council's live CCTV control room, which can monitor situations and has immediate contact with the police control room.

Inspector Martin Taylor said, 'Since December, police in Leominster have been actively engaged in an operation focused on policing the night time economy in the town on Friday and Saturday nights. The aim is to make sure people visiting the town feel safe and discourage inappropriate drinking which leads to antisocial behaviour and disorder. During this period we have conducted 193 visits to licensed premises, as well as high profile patrols, and we are seeing the benefits. The introduction of the radio system will enhance our operation, ensuring we can work closely with the licensees to make people feel safe when they are out in Leominster in the evening.'

Sue Witherstone, landlady of the Blue Note Café Bar and chair of Leominster HAND, welcomed the project. She said, 'The customers know all about HAND and it's already a good deterrent. We don't have a lot of trouble, but if we do have some bother it's nice to be able to keep in touch with the radio. If we have problems we can contact each other, or the CCTV office, who are really on the ball.'

Councillor Roger Hunt, Mayor of Leominster said, 'We are very keen to keep the town as safe as possible and anything that makes Leominster a safer place can only be a good thing. We are very pleased to be able to support our licensed traders in this way.'

councillor Bernard Hunt, (no relation), of the West Mercia Police Authority and chairman of Herefordshire's Policing Board added, 'In other parts of Herefordshire, the radios have proved to be an invaluable tool for publicans to be able to pass on information to each other. It's also a deterrent to the tiny number of drinkers who can spoil an evening out for the sensible majority. The message is that publicans in Leominster are definitely 'HANDs on!'

Leominster HAND - Inspector Martin Taylor, Sue Witherstone, Councillor Roger Hunt, PC Angie Hull, Councillor Bernard Hunt and Debbie Stringer, of CCTV control.


Herefordshire heart patients are to benefit from a life saving procedure that up until now would only have been available in larger hospitals like Birmingham or Wolverhampton.

Primary angioplasty is regarded as the best intervention for patients having a heart attack; it is used to treat the narrowed or blocked blood vessels around the heart a short time after a heart attack. The process involves inserting a very narrow tube directly into a blood vessel in the groin that can then be directed up to the heart. The balloon expands the artery and a stent is inserted. As the procedure has only been available at larger centres up to now, patients suffering from a heart attack have received what is known as the 'clot-buster drug' (thrombolysis) either before or after being transferred to Hereford County Hospital.

Thanks to an agreement between NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, primary angioplasty is now available from Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 4.30pm at Worcestershire Royal Hospital with plans to expand the service later this year to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outside of these hours, patients needing emergency services who are diagnosed with a heart attack will continue to receive thrombolysis through Hereford County Hospital in line with local policy. They may then be transferred to Worcester or other specialist centres in the West Midlands if angioplasty is required later in their care as part of their ongoing management.

'This is great news for heart patients and their relatives who would previously have had to travel to Birmingham or Wolverhampton for intervention,' said Paul Edwards, associate director of integrated commissioning for NHS Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council. 'NHS Herefordshire is striving to improve access to treatment for Herefordshire patients and their families and as around 60 people suffer from a heart attack requiring emergency treatment in the county every year, accessing this procedure in Worcester will make a big difference to people's lives.

In addition, we have arranged for two of the county's consultants to spend time at Worcester Royal Hospital as well Birmingham to work specifically with people who have angina and need to have a stent implanted in less urgent situations. This means that for more routine cases the interventional treatment will be available more locally. People will not have to travel so far and will also be cared for by their own consultant.'


Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man in fancy dress was assaulted in Hereford city centre in the early hours of Sunday, 13th March.

The assault occurred outside the O2 phone shop in High Town between 2am and 2:15am, when a man in his 20s, who was dressed in a fairy outfit at the time, was walking home after a night out with friends. He was approached by another man and punched in the face, which left him unconscious and his jaw broken in two places. The assailant is described as a white man in his early 20s, with short dark hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt with a large black printed logo on the front.

PC Nick Everall of Hereford Police Station said, 'This was a nasty and seemingly unprovoked attack that has put a man in hospital and needing surgery. We need to find the attacker and would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the assault. The victim was in fancy dress and would have been very distinctive. Evidence shows that his attacker had walked into High Town from the direction of Commercial Square, along Commercial Road before the assault.'

Anybody who saw anything or has any information about this assault is urged to contact PC Everall on 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.


Go along to Old School Lane play area (if you dare) on Thursday, 24th March to see the unveiling of the fantastic new crocodile carving which will be taking up residence there.

The carving will be unveiled by Councillor Brian Wilcox at 3.45pm so local children will be able to get their first glimpse of their new playmate once they have finished school for the day. The crocodile, which was created by local chainsaw sculptor Steve Elsby at Queenswood Country Park last October using a large piece of Redwood, replaces the previous very popular crocodile at the play area, which had naturally degraded and had to be removed from site for safety reasons.

Fran White, Herefordshire Council's parks development manager said, 'This exciting project has been funded by Hereford City Council and will hopefully inspire lots of imaginative play at the site. The crocodile is large enough for children to climb on and have lots of fun, it is a stunning sculpture, and rest assured he does have rather a friendly smile!'

The large piece of Redwood was donated to the project by Herefordshire Council's parks, countryside and leisure development service and is from a tree that was removed from Cantilupe Gardens, Hereford about two years ago so it is appropriate that it will once again be able to be appreciated in a city park in its new form.

The crocodile will be installed on site by workmen from Amey Herefordshire who manage all of the county's play areas and parks on behalf of Herefordshire Council.

The crocodile, who will be taking up residence at the Old School Lane play area on Thursday.


As part of 'Herefordshire Year in the Orchard 2011', a special community case display has been created at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery. The display has a range of orchard related items and a calendar of key relative events that occur throughout the year.

James Bisset, Herefordshire Council's principal countryside officer, set up the display to highlight what goes on in orchards at different times of the year. The year 2011 has been chosen to celebrate the county's orchards because it marks the 200th anniversary of the production of the first Book of Apples (Pomona) in the world by Herefordshire born horticulturist, Thomas Andrew Knight. Postcards from Knight's Pomona Herefordiensis are available to buy at the museum shop.

Kate Andrew, Herefordshire Council's principal heritage officer, is now working with partners at Hereford's Cider Museum to develop an exhibition which will focus on the work and career of Thomas Andrew Knight. She said, 'Knight's belongings have been widely dispersed over the last two centuries so we would very much like to hear from anyone who might have papers, pictures or artefacts relating to Thomas Andrew Knight and who is prepared to share them to help make this exhibition as special as we can. The Cider Museum and Hereford Library both hold copies of the Pomona, each one slightly different to the other, and the exhibition will highlight each one and allow visitors to explore the artworks up close.' .

The second exhibition at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery from the autumn onwards will expand on the theme of Thomas Andrew Knight to place him in the context of the wider Georgian world and to explore how his pioneering work helped to save Herefordshire's apple heritage to this day. Apart from the exhibitions there will be all sorts of work going on around the county, from a special RHS award for a Herefordshire orchard, orchard visits and walks and an exploration of how anyone can lend a hand to save a piece of our orchard heritage.

For further information on 'Year in the Orchard' log onto and follow the link in the Spotlights box.


Local MP Jesse Norman has severely criticized the heads of HM Revenue and Customs over their unfair treatment of small business, describing their performance as a 'lamentable failure.'

The criticism came at a hearing last week of the Treasury Committee, on which Mr Norman sits. The Revenue levies penalties on businesses which do not declare the full amount of tax owed. But under questioning the senior civil servant Dave Hartnett conceded that the penalties imposed on small business were some 200 times heavier than those on big business, as a percentage of the tax under-declared. At one point Mr Hartnett even said, 'I cannot remember seeing a case of evasion in a very big company.'

Commenting, Jesse said, 'In 2008 HM Revenue only imposed 19 penalties totalling £15m through the Large Business Service, which covers thousands of the largest UK companies. When this was pointed out, they promised to do better but in fact, the position has got much worse since then. By 2009/10 they imposed just 6 penalties totalling £442,000, or less than 0.01% of the tax under-declared.

This is not 'doing better.' On the contrary it is a lamentable failure. This is bad enough but the Revenue charge smaller businesses penalties at about two hundred times this rate. At a time when so many small businesses in Herefordshire are struggling to survive, the Revenue should not be allowing their bigger competitors off the hook.'


If you have ever dreamed of selling your arts and crafts to an admiring public, Herefordshire Arts Market is on the look out for new talent from amongst the county's burgeoning creative community.

'We're running markets just about every month through the summer,' said co-ordinator, Andy Dawson, 'and we are looking for artists and crafts people to come along and sell.'

The 30-strong market is situated right in the city centre on Saturdays and features some of the most talented and successful artists and makers in Herefordshire. For further information go to or call 01432 383064.

One of the busy Art Markets.


Police are appealing for a woman and an elderly couple who may have witnessed a man being assaulted in Hereford on Monday, 14th March.

At 4.15pm an 18-year-old man was walking home across Victoria Bridge, which leads from Nelson Street onto the St George V playing fields. As he passed a group of males fishing on the river, one of them shouted at him and them chased after him. As the man turned round, he was punched in the face then pushed to the floor. At this point he was approached by a female who pretended to know him, helped him from the floor and walked him in the direction of the Bishop's Meadows, away from the offender. Once they got to the other side of the bridge, she left him.

PC Sarah Celozzi, who is investigating the incident said, 'I am very keen to try and trace this good Samaritan as she may have important information about the attacker. All the victim can remember is that she was wearing a red coat, but I am sure this person will remember the incident. Please come forward. There was also an elderly couple who walked past the young man as he was being assaulted and understandably didn't get involved. I would urge them to also get in touch as they may have vital evidence.'

They, or anyone else who saw this incident, can contact PC Celozzi on 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.

Police are also appealing for a dog walker in Leominster to come forward who may have vital information about a burglary in the town last week. Shortly after 3am on Thursday, 17th March, Roundabout Stationers in Church Street was broken into. Damage was caused and four charity boxes were stolen.

PC Jennifer Richards, who is investigating this incident said, 'I have viewed the shop's CCTV and it shows a man walking his dog at this time, along Broad Street and up Drapers Lane. I believe this person may have witnessed something and I would urge him to come forward as soon as possible. Also, if anyone else saw any suspicious activity around Roundabout Stationers last week, I would like to hear from them.'

Anyone who saw anything or has information about this burglary is urged to contact PC Richards on the Police non emergency line o pass on any information via the Crimestoppers line.


Herefordshire Council are pleased to announce that work on stabilising the Master's House in Ledbury is to begin next month. This news has been welcomed by the Ledbury Localities Working Group because, once completed, it will open up the site and allow the reopening of the footpath which will improve the visual appearance of the area ahead of the tourist season. Stabilisation work will also help to inform the way forward for using the Master's House as a central hub for a new library and public services.

The Localities Working Group were pleased that the proposals were supported at the Town Council's meeting on Thursday, 10th March, when it was agreed that, 'in the absence of any other viable option, Ledbury Town Council supported the refurbishment of the Master's House to include a central services hub and library.'

The Localities Working Group will now be looking at plans for the interior of the Master's House in more detail.

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