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A man who died after being found with stab wounds at a flat in Copse Cross Street, Ross-on-Wye on Saturday night, has been named as 30-year-old James Alan Ball.

Mr Ball was found at the flat at just after 8.45pm on 26th March and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Hereford County Hospital. Christopher Vivian, aged 22 and from Ross-on-Wye has been charged with the murder of Mr Ball and appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, 28th March.

Speaking about the investigation, Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes said, 'Although a man has now been charged with Mr Ball's murder, the investigation into the incident will continue for sometime. With that in mind we are keen to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in and around Copse Cross Street between 8.15pm and 9pm on Saturday night.

I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure local people that this is an isolated, self contained incident and remind them that nobody else is being sought in connection with Mr Ball's death.


It is all systems go for the Ross Rocks team who are now moving forward with their plans to hold a festival at the Bandstand and Caroline Symonds Gardens on Saturday, 25th June after their TEN application was approved by Herefordshire Council's Licensing Department.

The festival is being organized to show what Ross-on-Wye has to offer by way of talented musicians, dance groups, local food and drink producers, organizations and much more. The event is not by any means going to be on the large scale of the previous great festival JAMSTAND this year but the team will be putting on a great day out from 11am until 11pm for the whole community. The Broome Cupboard Blues Band, the Dandelion Killers and SWiTCH are confirmed and there are plans to have a mass Zumba class take place during the afternoon. If your local band would like to perform at Ross Rocks, please contact Steve French at by Friday 15th April at the latest and arrange for him to listen to your CD.

If you run a local dance group or provide any other form of entertainment and would like to take part, please contact Mel at for further information. Please also contact Mel if you would like to have a trade stall or charity stall at the event.

If you would like to sponsor Ross Rocks in any way, please contact the Treasurer, Andrew Morgan of Radcliffe Guest House at All donations will be gratefully received. Alternatively, call into see Chris or Carol at Ross Old Books in High Street.

In 2011 we want to show the world that Ross Rocks. In 2012 we want to be able to show them that Ross Rocks and Rolls! Keep reading Wyenot News for further developments.


The John Kyrle High School Spring Concert is always a fantastic event, and each year the audiences are amazed at the talent of the students and staff at the school.

The 2011 event took place last Tuesday evening and there were some fantastic performances by the young, up coming Training Orchestra, an a capella vocal group, the choirs and senior Jazz Band, with some entertaining compering courtesy of Ben Abbott. Year 13 student, Ryan Green has written and arranged an entire musical and Ryan conducted the band whilst Julia Ormerod beautifully sang his composition 'By Myself Once More,' a very moving song.

Ryan is not the only composer in the JKHS Hall of Fame however. Lucas Abbott performed his own composition 'In Each Other's Arms' and had recorded everything on the backing tracks himself. Young rock band The City Won, comprising Connor Bevan, Ben Bushell, Kieran Pitts-Caton, Kellan Fisher and James Wood performed their own song 'Bank Robber Man' followed by a cover of Bachman Turner Overdrive's 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet.' All of these performances were complemented by some fantastic sound and light engineering.

Unfortunately, due to having to return to Wyenot HQ to get the news up online, I missed the second half, which included performances by Vic Bailey and Sam Burford, Ryan Green and Charlie Rodgers-Davies and the senior bands at the school but I believe that the second half was as brilliant as the first. Well done to all the staff and students involved.

Johnny Evans, Stephen Howie and Niles Weyman perform 'Knocking on Heaven's Door.

Ryan Green conducts the band and Julia Ormerod as they perform his own composition 'By Myself Once More'.

Lucas Abbott performing his own composition 'In Each Others Arms'.

The City Won performing their own number 'Bank Robber Man'.


Most of you should be aware by now that it is Mother's Day this coming Sunday, 3rd April and what better way to thank your Mum for all she does than by taking her out for a delicious Sunday lunch?

There are lots of places to choose from but if you haven't booked anywhere yet, I suggest that you do it now as word has it that places are becoming limited. If you would like a meal in a lovely riverside setting, you could try giving the White Lion Inn at Wilton a call. Landlords, Dave and Jacqui Newman now have extra dining space having created a lovely dining room in the old Pool Room. They are having two sittings; one beginning at 12 Noon, the second is at 2pm. Alternatively, you might like to try the Hope & Anchor just off Wye Street or the Inn on the Wye at Kern Bridge.

If you enjoy Symonds Yat, then why not try the Royal Lodge or Saracen's Head on the East side or choose from the lovely menu at the Old Court Hotel or the Wye Knot Inn on the West? In nearby Goodrich you might like to take the Hostelrie up on their special 'Mother Eats for Free' deal. (Please telephone 01600 890241 for further information.)

Closer to town there is also a good choice of places to treat your mother on Mothering Sunday including the Kings Head Hotel or Nature's Choice Café. When your lunch has gone down, maybe you could also treat Mum to a lovely cream tea at Rose Cottage.

Wherever you choose to take Mum out for a meal this Sunday, we hope that she enjoys her special day.


Happy birthday greetings go to Neville Schofield, who was 60 years old on Tuesday, 22nd March. Unbeknown to Neville, he was to celebrate his special day with family and firends at the White Lion Inn at Wilton, where his daughter Linda and a few other cunning people had arranged a surprise party for him. Neville really enjoyed his party, especially as he and his wife Christine were also celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Our best wishes to you both.

Neville Schofield getting ready to cut his birthday cake watched by wife Christine, daughter Linda and grandson Ryan.


If you enjoy a good book of whatever kind, you might like to go along to the Larruperz Centre at 7pm on Friday evening, 1st April, where Chris and Carol Lowndes of Ross Old Books will be giving a talk to Ross Arts Appreciation Society.

Chris and Carol will be speaking about what it is like to run a book shop such as their lovely shop, which has a fantastic range of old books, prints and maps and will follow their talk with an 'Antiques Roadshow' where you are welcome to take along your treasured books and have them valued. You may well be pleasantly surprised.

The talk will be preceeded by the Ross Arts Appreciation Society's AGM. There is no need to book and all are welcome to attend.


Progress on rejuvenating The Thomas Blake Memorial Garden in Ross in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, continued on Sunday when a number of volunteers turned out again to help weed, prune and tidy this important and historic Ross landmark. The extra attention the garden is now receiving and the warmer weather, which has brought out leaves and blossom, have already made the garden a more colourful and attractive place to visit. The organizers are delighted with the support that they have so far received and hope that as the weather improves more people will be tempted out to get involved.

Currently an application for funding from the Herefordshire Community Foundation is being put together. The Foundation administers a government scheme called Active@60 which aims to encourage local groups to create projects that will involve those who are approaching retirement or have already retired. Retirement can be a tricky time for some people who suddenly find they miss the social interaction of the work place or structure of the working day.

The Blake Garden Jubilee Project is ideal as a means of bringing people together as part of a community project that involves creating something really positive for the town and working outside in the fresh air. It is hoped that a group of enthusiasts can be established that will go on caring in conjunction with Amey Herefordshire for the garden for years to come. One of the organizers, Mary Sinclair-Powell commented that Amey representatives have been very helpful by removing the garden waste that the team are producing and by keeping the garden tidy. If the application is successful the grant will provide money for tools and plants.

The dates for the next two mornings working on the garden are 10th and 17th April starting at 10.30 am. If you would like to get involved, please contact Margaret Lucas on 01989 563261, The Ross Garden Store on 01989 568999 or Councillor Caroline Utting on 01989 565685 or at

Andrew Morgan of the Radcliffe Guest House and two of his children get to grips with the clearing.


In a speech during the Budget debate, local MP Jesse Norman has welcomed the many measures in the 2011 Budget which will help Herefordians. These include:

- An immediate cut in fuel duty by 1 pence per litre, and a decision to delay Aprilís inflation rise in duty (planned by the last government) until next January. This means fuel duty is now 6 pence lower than it would have been under Labour.
An increase in the Personal Allowance by a further £630 from April 2012. Together with this yearís rise, that means a total of £326 extra each year for working people on moderate incomes. So far, after just ten months into office, the coalition Government has taken 1.1 million low paid people out of income tax altogether.
Funding for 50,000 more apprenticeships.
- A new package of support measures for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Commenting, Jesse said, 'I am delighted that the Chancellor has listened to our concerns about the cost of fuel, especially in rural areas such as ours. The rise in the tax allowance, the increased support for small businesses, and the new funding for potholes, are also very welcome. Since the new government was formed last May, thousands of Herefordians have been taken out of income tax altogether.

These are difficult economic times. But this is a good budget for Herefordshire, and a strong, long term budget for the country.'

Jesse's budget speech can be read at


Music lovers in Leominster will be pleased to know that a new shop selling high quality, second-hand CDs, DVDs, records, books and computer games will be opening in West Street on Monday, 4th April. The Music Box is an exciting new venture which will be operated by Marshfields, part of Herefordshire Council's day opportunities services for adults with learning disabilities.

'We believe that passion for music creates common ground,' said inclusion manager at Marshfields, Sean Ladd. 'The Music Box will provide individuals involved with an opportunity to engage with their community. In addition, Individuals will be able to develop a range of skills that will prove beneficial to their future independence and help them to achieve, believe and belong.'

As well as direct sales, the shop will be selling online, opening up a world of personal development for those involved. The shop has sofas and coffee available, so you can relax and try before you buy.

The new shop will be open for business from Monday, 4th April and opening times will be Monday to Friday, 10am until 4.15pm and on Saturdays, from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

All donations of unwanted CD'S, DVD'S, books and computer games will be gratefully received. Please contact the Music Box on 01568 611869 or Marshfield's on 01568 614772 for further information.'

Paul Fletcher, Sean Ladd and Sally Lewis get CDs ready for sale in Leominster's new Music Box shop.


As part of their commitment to promoting local produce, Herefordshire Council are planning to extend the frequency of the popular Farmers' Markets held in Hereford. An agreement has been signed in principle to hold the Farmers' Market in Hereford's High Town every Thursday rather than the present once a month. The monthly Saturday market in Hereford as well as those in Ross and Leominster will also continue.

Jeff Owen, Herefordshire Council's markets, fairs and street trading manager said, 'This new weekly farmers market will ensure local produce has a real opportunity to be showcased and residents and visitors alike can enjoy the best of what Herefordshire has to offer. Through our sustainable food strategy, we want to support local food enterprises because they not only promote tourism but also support the health and well being of residents by making healthier food options more readily available.

The launch day of the weekly Thursday Market is to be 21st April 2011 and I hope everyone will take this opportunity to support county businesses and enjoy their delicious produce as well.'


South Herefordshire MP, Jesse Norman has congratulated local software company Muddy Boots on its magnificent new offices in Phocle Green, Ross-on-Wye, which were formally opened last week.

Muddy Boots produces quality assurance and traceability software for the food industry, and has some of biggest names in food production and retailing amongst its clients, including Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Ben & Jerry's. The firm was established in 1996 in Herefordshire by Jonathan Evans and Jeremy Pile, and now has operations in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and East Africa, as well as the UK.

Jesse said, 'Muddy Boots is a terrific local success story, which has grown up out of the soil of Herefordshire and become a highly innovative and effective international software supplier in one of the most demanding industries in the world. Its new offices are superb. Many congratulations to the whole company, and best wishes for its continued success.'

Jesse Norman MP with Jonathan Evans at the opening of Muddy Boots' new offices in Phocle Green, Ross-on-Wye.


Police officers are investigating a suspicious incident which was reported to them Friday, 25th March.

Officers received reports of two vehicles acting suspiciously in Ridgeway Road, which runs between the villages of Sutton St Nicholas and Withington at around 9pm. The dark coloured 4x4, believed to be a BMW X5, and a dark coloured panel van were seen in the area and officers are keen to identify those people in the vehicles and are asking them to come forward. It is reported that four men and a woman were seen in these vehicles and concerns were expressed by a member of the public that the woman was being carried and put into one of the vehicles.

A police spokesman said, 'There may well be a perfectly innocent explanation for what was seen on Friday night but we would like to speak to the people involved so that we can be reassured that nothing untoward was happening. Until we are reassured we will continue to treat this incident very seriously. We would ask any of the individuals involved to make contact with us, even if they feel there is no reason for them to contact the police to explain what was happening. We have increased our resources in the area to try to establish what exactly did occur on Friday night and to reassure local people about the reason for our activity, so it is important that anyone with information about this strange incident makes contact with us.'

Anybody with any information about this incident, or either of the vehicles concerned, is asked to call the police as soon as possible. Information can be given by calling police on 0300 333 3000, quoting 280-N-250311, or call the independent charity, Crimestoppers line anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

30th March 2011


West Mercia Police have issued a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in relation to a theft at a DIY store in Hereford last month. Two Triton shower units and a security alarm box, together worth £637, were stolen from Homebase in Three Elms Road on Saturday, 26th February, between 2.05pm and 2.20pm.

PC Dave Thomas at Hereford Police Station said, 'This man was seen on CCTV entering Homebase at the time of the thefts and we would like to speak to him, at least to eliminate him from our enquiries. If anyone recognises him, I would urge them to contact me and I appeal to the man himself to come forward. Also, I would like to ask anyone who has information about the stolen showers and alarm system to get in touch.'

PC Thomas can be contacted on the West Mercia Police non-emergency number, 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.


The official countdown has begun to the local elections and referendum, the day when county voters will choose Herefordshire county councillors, town and parish councillors to represent them and also have a say on proposed reforms to the Parliamentary voting system. Chris Bull, the returning officer, who is responsible for ensuring the elections run smoothly, announced on Friday that the elections will be taking place on Thursday, 5th May.

Chris said, 'We're hoping for a good turnout this year as people will not only be able to choose who represents them in their parish, town or city, but also who will represent them on Herefordshire Council. On top of this, people will have the chance to have their say in the referendum to decide if changes will be made to the national voting system.'

The list of candidates standing in each ward will be published on Friday, 8th April, when everybody will be able to find out who is standing in their area. Applications for a new postal vote must reach the electoral registration office by 5pm on Thursday, 14th April.

Anybody wanting a proxy vote will need to apply for this by 5pm on Thursday, 21st April. Residents can do this by telephoning the council's electoral registration team on 01432 260107 or by e-mailing them at

The referendum is the first nation-wide referendum to take place for over 35 years and on 5th May, voters will be asked to say 'yes' or 'no' to changing the system used to elect Members of Parliament at our general elections. The overall responsibility for the referendum lies with the Electoral Commission, although your voting paper will be collected in when you hand in your ballot paper for your local councillor. This could be at your local polling station, or via a postal vote.

The Commission is keen that everybody understands what they are voting for in the referendum, so look out for an explanatory booklet they are sending out to every household in the UK. This booklet will be supported by an advertising campaign run by the Electoral Commission and further details can be found on the commission's website -

If you are not registered to vote, you will not be able to vote in either the local elections or the referendum.


Herefordshire Council is to get more than £2.4 million from Government towards the repair of road damage caused by the worst December weather ever recorded. The Department of Transport has informed the council it will get £2,423,477 in extra funding; half of which will come from £100 million of extra funding earmarked in February and a further £100 million which was announced in last week's Budget.

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 over £2 million to rectify.

Clive Hall, Herefordshire Council's highway network manager said, 'We welcome this money which will help us to ensure the county's roads can be restored to an acceptable standard, after a second severe winter in a row. We will now be working closely with our contracting partners, Amey Herefordshire, to further improve the county's roads.

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 been returned to a good standard. 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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