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Sixteen foreign exchange students visited Ross-on-Wye last week from twin town, Conde-sur-Noireau in Normandy, France. The exchange was part of the annual arrangement with the John Kyrle High School and the visiting students were able to work in a number of different restaurants, schools and shops around the town.

One of the students, 15 year old Oriane, worked at Pots and Pieces Teashop and Gallery serving the customers and preparing drinks and food. Proprietor, Sara Bruce said, 'It was a pleasure to have Oriane working with us. Her English was excellent and our customers loved meeting her.'

The French students and teachers visited Pots and Pieces on Thursday where Oriane was able to serve her friends milkshakes, espresso coffees and cream teas. The students from John Kyrle are now in France, hopefully enjoying trying out their French.

Oriane, gaining work experience at Pots and Pieces Tearoom and Gallery.

Oraine's teachers and friends enjoy a break at Pots and Pieces


If you are looking for something different for the kids to do during the Easter break, a fun geology morning is to be held at Ross Market House Visitor Centre on Thursday, 21st April. The event will run from 11am until 1pm and is suitable for youngsters aged up to 15 years. There will be a chance to learn all about geology in the county and to make make an under sea scene.

Alexia Clark, Herefordshire Council's visitor services officer said, 'This fun morning promises to be an egg-citing Easter activity for all youngsters. Geology is very much the bedrock of what has made our country so beautiful and I hope youngsters will come along and enjoy finding out more about it as well as the chance to be creative in designing their own under sea scene.

Tickets for the event cost 1. For further information, please telephone 01432 383597.

13th April 2011


Andrew Davies.

West Mercia Police has successful gained a Conviction Related Antisocial Behaviour Order, or 'Crasbo', against a man from Ross-on-Wye. Andrew Wayne Davies was issued with his Crasbo at Hereford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 6th April and it is valid for two years.

The conditions of the CRASBO served on Davies are that he is:
Not to enter the Maltings, Ross-on-Wye or the adjacent car park;
Not to be in possession of an open vessel of alcohol in a public place within the county of Herefordshire;
Not to ask persons for monies or other items within Ross-on-Wye town centre;
Not to allow any dog within his care to be off a lead or left unsupervised within Ross-on-Wye town centre.

Temporary Inspector Rob Davies, inspector for Ross-on-Wye said, 'This Crasbo being served on Davies is part of the ongoing efforts by West Mercia Police to deal with a small number of people causing ongoing problems in Ross-on-Wye town centre. He has been a nuisance in Ross town centre, drinking and harassing local people with persistent and aggressive begging, particularly around the Maltings.

Dog fouling and irresponsible dog owners not keeping their animals under control is also a problem in the town centre, which is why Davies has been given a direction to make sure his dog is properly supervised. Davies is quite distinctive and a well known face in Ross.

I appeal to anyone who sees him breaching his Crasbo, for example begging, drinking or having a dog out of control in the town centre, to contact the Ross Local Policing Team immediately on 0300 333 3000.'


A Ross man has been ordered to pay 627.37 in costs after admitting an offence of fly-tipping when he appeared at Hereford magistrates court on Friday.

Patrick Stephen Mayo, aged 47, of 43 Springfield Road admitted that on 27th November 2010, he deposited tree cuttings, soil and household waste at the entrance to the pumping station at Brampton Abbots, near Ross. Mike Jones, prosecuting on behalf of Herefordshire Council's community protection team, said the council takes offences such as fly-tipping seriously especially when, as in this case, it was a deliberate and planned action. Mr Jones said Mayo was seen by a member of the community protection team in a van with a trailer attached with a builder's dumpy bag inside. He was seen attaching a rope to the bag and then tying the other end to the gates at the entrance of the pumping station.

'He tied the bag to the gates, drove off and, as he did so, the bag of waste was left attached to the gate,' Mr Jones said. Philip Cornell, defending, said his client had been suffering poor health and thought he could not take the waste to a household waste site because he had a van. Mayo was given a conditional discharge for 12 months which means that should he re-offend within this period, the sentence for this offence can be reconsidered.

Shane Hancock, Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager said after the court case, 'This was not a spur of the moment, rash act, but blatant and premeditated, with him giving thought to exactly how the waste was going to be illegally dumped. It costs the council, and therefore the rate payer, extra to clear and dispose of waste irresponsibly deposited in this way, and I am pleased that in this case substantial costs have been awarded which means council tax payers won't face additional expense.'

The case was brought under Section 33 (1) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


Herefordshire Council's environmental health and trading standards division has reported a busy past 12 months in relation to those activities it carries out that aim to help protect people, particularly vulnerable people, from harm.

Highlights from the past 12 months or so are:
The council's licensing team carried out 12 reviews into premises from April 2010 to February 2011 after complaints were received about them. The team also dealt with 3,072 service requests in 2010.
The trading standards team saving or recovering more than 82,000 for consumers and businesses in the county and beyond between April 2010 and February 2011
In 2010 there were also 2,724 applications for licences and events such as The Big Chill required a lot of regulatory effort to ensure compliance, culminating in five days of monitoring and enforcement work during the actual event.
Trading standards worked closely with the police to carry out four evenings of covert underage test purchasing of alcohol in licensed premises which led to reviews being made as well as fixed penalty notices being issued.
The council's taxi licensing team suspended 70 licences in 2010 to 2011, issued 44 drivers with points and 45 drivers were referred to the committee. The team also inspected 50 of the hackney cabs for compliance during a night-time operation and inspected the entire fleet of 110 private hire vehicles through joint working with Amey.
Two major investigations involving fraud are awaiting trial at Crown Court and a successful conviction was obtained under the Trade Marks Act for illegally copying and selling films on DVD as well as against a company for high pressure selling techniques relating to Kirby cleaners.
The council's environmental protection team, which covers noise nuisance, smoke offences, public health nuisance such as rats, and drainage issues, dealt with 1,884 service requests in 2010.
The council's environmental health (commercial) team carried out a major investigation during the period April 2010 to February 2011, into a fatality at Kington Agricultural Show which led to a successful prosecution. A successful prosecution was also recently carried out against a public house for 15 food hygiene breaches.
The council's animal health team, which deals with farms and livestock, dealt with 889 service requests in the past year and carried out 608 farm inspections and 10 visits to abattoirs. The team has also attended 281 markets and two agricultural shows.
The council's pest control team responded to 2,004 requests ranging from wasps, fleas, rats, mice and moles.

As well as intervening as described above, the service also provides business advice on a range of matters relating to compliance. In particular the team has been helping cider and perry producers in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire to claim European Union recognition under Protected Geographical Indication status.

Paul Nicholas, Assistant Director, Public Health said, 'These figures reveal the amazing diversity and scope of work we carry out to provide residents, visitors and those who work in the county a place that's as safe, healthy and pleasant as possible. We aim to prevent all sorts of nuisance behaviour and the fact we have been involved in so many successful interventions over the past year highlights the effectiveness and professional capabilities of our staff.

The number of requests we received from the public for assistance is continuing to rise but we remain fully committed to acting on people's concerns.'

13th April 2011


Jesse celebrates the Bulls 2008 promotion.

Local MP Jesse Norman has weighed in heavily to support Hereford United in its fight against a points penalty imposed by the Football League.

Jesse originally wrote to the League in support of the Bulls when it appeared the club might lose points for fielding an ineligible player in its match against Torquay on 1st February. He is now demanding a full public explanation of the decision, and has referred the issue as a matter of urgency to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee as part of their current Inquiry into Football Governance.

Commenting, Jesse said, 'This is a very punitive and unfair decision, which comes at a critical time in the season for the Bulls. It is wrong for the League to impose such a heavy penalty for a relatively minor error by the club. It is doubly wrong then to let Torquay off with only a single point deduction, when they made exactly the same mistake.

Football is notorious for the poor quality of its governance, and this looks like yet another dodgy decision. There has been a huge lack of transparency here, and I am particularly concerned that the League's board includes Anthony Kleanthous, who is the Chairman of Barnet, which could stand to gain hugely from a Hereford relegation.

That's why I have asked the Select Committee to look into this issue as a matter of urgency, and to hold the Football League to account for it in a public hearing.'


A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of obtaining money from businesses in Shropshire and Herefordshire through fraudulent claims concerning leukaemia victims. Police have been investigating a series of complaints about a man calling at shops and other business premises claiming to be collecting in connection with the death of a young boy from leukaemia.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said that a 28-year-old from Shrewsbury was arrested by Staffordshire police in Cannock on Thursday, 7th April. He was taken into custody at Shrewsbury police station and questioned about a series of suspected frauds during March. Police are investigating complaints from a total of 30 shops and other businesses in Shropshire and Herefordshire; four in Oswestry, four in Ellesmere and 22 in Leominster.

The police spokesperson added. 'He has been arrested on suspicion of committing fraud by dishonestly obtaining services and also criminal damage.'


Local MP Jesse Norman has severely criticized the Highways Agency for failing to carry out its own scheduled improvements to the A49, and asked the Ministry of Transport to investigate the issue.

Work had been long planned to improve safety on the A49 at Bridstow, and was about to begin following a public consultation. But it was cancelled at the last minute, as a result of an 'administrative error' by the Highways Agency. Budgetary restrictions now mean that it may not even be carried out in 2011. Jesse wrote last week to Mike Penning, the Under-secretary of State at the Ministry of Transport, to report the failure and request an immediate investigation.

He said, 'This appears to be entirely due to the incompetence of the Highways Agency. Local people rightly feel that they have had the rug pulled out from under their feet at the last minute. As the record shows, the A49 is a dangerous road. It is quite wrong that we should have to pay the price for an official's error.'

The news has come as a huge blow to local people. Russell Hamilton, who has long campaigned for greater safety on the A49 said, 'I am devastated by the news that the road safety scheme in Bridstow has been withdrawn as a result of a basic administrative error by the Highways Agency, just at the point when work was about to start.

Having had a consultation, identified the money and notified everyone that work was to go ahead, including erecting the signs, they have made a commitment from which they should not allowed to go back. How can anyone be expected to trust anything the Highways Agency say again?'


Herefordshire Council's Outdoor Education Centre has been given the thumbs up by the Royal Yacht Association (RYA) and as a result, will be able to award sailing qualifications to children with special needs.

The RYA inspect the Outdoor Education Centre at Bodenham Lake every year. This year the inspector visited the centre on 25th March, scrutinizing policies, teaching standards and checking out equipment to make sure standards are up to speed. Passing such inspections allows the council to award national governing body sailing certificates to children and young people who complete sailing courses. There are various levels which can take a young person from a basic sailing novice to an experienced sailor. A typical course takes 2-3 days to complete, although the higher the level, the more complex the course becomes. Many young people go on to undertake Assistant Instructor courses.

This year the centre has also been accredited for Sailability which opens up opportunities to provide accredited sailing courses for young people with special needs. The centre's equipment includes a number of boats and specialist facilities that are designed for wheelchair users. Staff are well trained and experienced so that virtually all special needs can be met. Barrs Court and young people with special needs from The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School already come to enjoy the facilities and learn to sail, but will now be able to get accredited certificates for the courses they complete. It is hoped to extend training opportunities to other educational organizations, including the Royal National College for the Blind.

David McEneaney of Herefordshire Council said, 'We have four access boats specifically for children with special needs. They are designed so that no matter how severe a special need the young person has, they can go onto the boat by themselves. This is a major step towards independence for many of our students.

Sailing is one of the very few sports in which able bodied sailors and disabled sailors can participate on equal terms. Imagine the thrill of sailing for people who can feel and hear but have no sight, or of sailing a boat at speed even though they can't walk, or of joining in a sport where deafness doesn't matter. We're absolutely delighted to be awarded the Sailability accreditation as it will open up all sorts of opportunities for Herefordshire's children and young people and encourage more of them to get active and enjoy the wonderful outdoor environment we have here.'

Young people with special needs all set to become accredited sailors.

Giving a wave as they set sail.


Herefordshire residents who are having a spring clean and have items they no longer need are being encouraged to consider sending them for reuse rather than throwing the items away. There are many voluntary or community organizations in the county that will take unwanted items which are still in good condition, such as furniture, electrical appliances and bicycles.

Laura Blackwell, Herefordshire Council's recycling officer said, 'This is the time of year when many people decide to de-clutter and they will be left with quality unwanted or unused items that are too good to throw away. They should consider reuse, which would allow others to benefit from their unwanted goods, because one man's junk is another man's treasure. Reusing valuable resources in this way can help reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, help other residents and support good causes.'

Herefordshire Council, along with its partners Worcestershire County Council, has produced a Reuse leaflet which lists the organizations and the items that they accept, and is a great way of finding out where to donate your unwanted possessions. The Reuse leaflet is available by downloading from or by calling 01905 766883.

Residents can also offer item for reuse on the internet through web sites such as


South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman went into bat for Herefordshire's arts organizations against Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight last week. The discussion came in the wake of the Arts Council funding decisions, which were broadly welcomed in the county despite the current financial squeeze.

Paxman asked why the state should be funding arts organizations at all, but Jesse defended the record of local groups in Herefordshire such as 2faced Dance and Flix in the Sticks in reaching out to parts of the county which often had relatively little access to the arts. Jesse also emphasized the importance of the arts in kindling human capability and potential, and underlined the cost savings that the government was insisting on from the Arts Council.

Commenting afterwards, Jesse said, 'Herefordshire has some outstanding arts organizations, which do not get enough national recognition. So it was very good to be able to make the case for them, for the county, and for the arts with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.'

Jesse Norman MP defends Arts organizations on Newsnight.


A man has died following a traffic collision in Ledbury that occured yesterday, Tuesday, 12th April. At 9.40am, a Mitsubishi Shogun driving along Biddulph Way collided with a stationary vehicle and then a wall. The driver, a man in his 70s, was taken to Worcester Royal Infirmary by air ambulance but later died.

A police spokesman said, 'Biddulph Way was closed until 1.30pm as collision investigators from West Mercia Police concluded their inquiries and their work continues as they attempt to discover the exact cause of the crash. Any witnesses to the collision or the moments leading up to it, are asked to contact PC Bob Anning on 0300 333 3000.'


When Russell Dornan left university after studying Zoology and having worked at the Natural History Museum in London, he always knew he wanted to have a career in museums to build on his keen interest in biology and, especially, his love of dinosaurs. Russell did some travelling, then he found his dream traineeship advertised on Herefordshire Council's website for a trainee biological curator based at Hereford Museum Resource and Learning Centre and Ludlow Museum Resource Centre.

Russell said, 'I couldn't believe my luck especially as I was planning to move to Hereford anyway, so I applied and have now started my training. These types of opportunities don't come up very often so I was delighted to get the position. I get to see what curating involves, help out with organizing the collections. I am also assisting with the development of a new exhibition featuring extinct or declining species, including dinosaurs which I have a keen interest in. I will be training for 12 months and this will really help me to get my foot on the career ladder as well as making invaluable contacts in the world of museums.'

Russell's is one of eight 12 month curatorial training opportunities being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund's (HLF) Skills for the Future programme with a 199,200 grant. The curatorial project is being run by a partnership of five regional museum services, The Natural History Museum and the Natural Sciences Collections Association.

Kate Andrew, NATSCA (Natural Sciences Collection Association) committee member and Herefordshire Council's principal heritage officer said, 'I am delighted we have a curatorial trainee here in the county. In the West Midlands, we have long held an ambition to train new specialist curators and this scheme gives us the chance both to fill a skills gap and set people like Russell onto the museum career path.'

You can follow Russell's blog on his curatorial training by visiting

Russell Dornan in the Hereford Museum Resource and Learning Centre in Friar Street.


Three men have been arrested after a drugs warrant took place in Hereford on Monday, 11th April. At 4pm, officers entered a property in Broxash Drive where they found and seized 200 wraps of what has since been confirmed as being crack cocaine. At the scene, officers arrested three men on suspicion of possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply. They are two 18-year-olds from Birmingham and a 33-year-old man from Hereford. They all remain in custody and are being questioned by detectives.

Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes of Hereford CID said, 'This was a substantial amount of crack that we found at Broxash Drive after an intelligence led warrant. We will not tolerate anyone pushing class A drugs in Herefordshire, especially those coming into the county from elsewhere with the sole intention of dealing. Residents in Broxash Drive were pleased to see us take action at the house because they say it is regularly used for drugs related activity.

The police and partner agencies have powers to close down so called crack houses and I would appeal to anyone who would like to see us use these powers in this case to contact Hereford CID and give us the evidence we need to support any such action.'

Hereford CID can be contacted via the West Mercia Police non-emergency number 0300 333 3000. Alternatively, information can be passed on anonymously at the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.

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