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Officers from Herefordshire Council's trading standards team, West Mercia Police and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs recently visited an Eastern European store in Ross-on-Wye where they seized more than 25,000 cigarettes where the UK duty had been evaded. Following increasing tip-offs from the general public there have been more raids and resulting seizures from three shops within Herefordshire. Acting on intelligence received, the store was visited to conduct a full and thorough inspection. The rigorous inspection of the shop and adjacent flat uncovered a massive seizure of 25,740 cigarettes and 14.55 kilograms of hand rolling tobacco all of which had the UK duty evaded.

Leah Wilson, Herefordshire Council's trading standards officer said, 'Cheap tobacco and cigarettes can be identified by the price and that they don't display the legal health warnings. A typical brand of 20 cigarettes will have an average tax of £5.08 put on them. If cigarettes are found in shops under this price, it is possible that they haven't had the correct duty paid. They may even be counterfeit which are extremely dangerous, you just don't know what is in them.

All tobacco is harmful but easy access to cheap tobacco increases the health risks because it encourages people to keep smoking and smoke more. Smokers are not made aware of the health risks by the critical health warnings that should be placed on every packet. As well as major detriment to health there is also a huge detriment to local independent retailers who try to make a living honestly. Cheap cigarettes are deflecting customers away from genuine traders, making it difficult for a fair trading environment to thrive.

All partners are working closely with each other to combat this illegal trading. Those found guilty of dealing in smuggled illicit tobacco could face up to seven years in prison, fines, confiscation of the illicit products and seizure of the proceeds of their crime including vehicles used in the transportation of illicit tobacco.'

Further enforcement is being taken. Anyone with information on illegal tobacco supplies can contact the team in the strictest confidence on 0845 894 1008.

For help and assistance in stopping smoking contact Herefordshire NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01432 383567.

The Eastern European store in Ross-on-Wye where illicit tobacco and cigarettes were seized.


Alun and Lisa of The Hostelrie, Goodrich would like to welcome everybody to their fantastic Easter Sausage and Cider Festival which will run from Friday evening at 6pm. Visitors to The Hostelrie will have the opportunity to meet many local cider makers (including Ross Cider & Perry Co , Gillows and more) as well as taste their wares, and there will be the chance to feast on some fabulous, locally produced sausages.

There will be lots of great live music being performed throughout the event, featuring, New Jersey, The Jiveoholics, The Deadbeats, OCD and many more local musicians. A raffle will be held each day, with tickets being given at the door and drawn by 9pm each evening. There will be a hog roast dinner and all kinds of acticity going on.

Tickets for the event cost £5 for Friday, £10 for Saturday and £10 for Sunday. A weekend ticket will cost just £20. For further information on teh event, please visit the What's On? page of For a full itinerary, or to book tickets please visit The Hostelrie web site at

We hope to see you there.

20th April 2011


The pupils of Llangrove School raised money for the Air Ambulance.

Llangrove CE Primary School has just learnt that its highly successful Big Breakfast fund-raising project has won the PTA £500!

The Llangrove Big Breakfast has raised £4,200 in four years and has been chosen as the best fund-raising achievement in the Central region in the national Goldstar Awards competition organized by the NCPTA (the national body for PTA's).

Llangrove has been awarded £500 and will now go through to the national finals to be held at HMS Belfast in London on 8th June, with a chance to be named overall category winner and receive a further prize fund of £1,000.

The primary school is delighted with the news and Assistant Headteacher, Kelly Steele said, 'We are thrilled that our Big Breakfast has won this prestigious national award. The Big Breakfast is very popular, raises lots of money for worthy local charities and reinforces our schools strong links with our communities.

Our prize money will be spent on developing the outdoor space at Llangrove, which is a lovely reward for the children for working so hard to help others.'


Many people are organizing many different ways to celebrate the marriage of HRH Prince William and Miss Kate Middleton next Friday, 29th April. Helen and Roger Wynn of Wilton Court Restaurant with Rooms we are inviting you to join them in celebrating the royal wedding.

The event will begin at 10:30 am when coffees and pastries will be served, then from 11am, full TV coverage of this very special occasion can be viewed on the large screen. A glass of Bellini and canapés will then be served, followed by a sumptuous lunch in the Mulberry Restaurant.

The Wilton Court Royal Wedding Celebration is open to residents and non residents alike. Places have been filling up quickly so if you would like to take part in this special celebration, make your room and / or lunch selection now.

For further information on this special event, please contact Wilton Court Restaurant with Rooms directly or visit


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.


A wonderful concert was held at the Shire Hall, Hereford on Saturday, 9th April when members of the County Youth Orchestra were joined by 70 former members to celebrate the orchestra's 50th anniversary. The gala concert sold out and the audience enjoyed the performance by over 100 musicians.

A trumpet fanfare, especially composed for the occasion by Liam Dunachie (a former member of the orchestra) was performed and conductors, Hazel Davis and Sir Richard Mynors enthusiastically led the orchestra with works by Elgar, Bizet and Dvorak. The afternoon rehearsal and evening concert was also enjoyed by former conductors and ten former leaders of the orchestra. A special anniversary cake was cut by the current leader of the orchestra, Amalie Fisher and the first leader of the orchestra in 1961, Roger Woolley (now a teacher with Herefordshire Council's music service).

Cliff Woollard, head of the council's music service said, 'The whole day from beginning to end was enjoyed by everyone. With only a three hour rehearsal in the afternoon, the conductors and musicians pulled off a superb performance.'

Current and previous members of Herefordshire's County Youth Orchestra at the Shire Hall before the concert.


Do you have an unloved dress dying at the back of your wardrobe? A carelessly discarded cardigan, perhaps? Or a tossed aside pair of trousers, shunned shoes, hated hats, jilted jackets or blown-out blouses? If so, gather them up and give them the chance to find a loving home!

If you are good with a needle and thread and have a good sense of fashion and creativity, get hold of a Design Brief and create something magical, funky or practical out of those unwanted garments for Herefordís Big Clothes Swap and fashion show on Saturday, 18th June. If you are interested in taking part, an expression of interest must be completed and submitted no later than the 30th April, with the final application to the competition due in at the beginning of June.

The event is being hosted by Hereford City Council, in partnership with Herefordshire Councilís Recycling Team and Newton Farm Community Association and there will be prizes for the winning entrants in both the clothing and the accessories categories, plus a chance to showcase them at the fashion show.

To obtain your Design Brief and find out more about this great competition, contact the City Events Officer on 07837 641857, or email:

20th April 2011


Jesse and Matt at Hereford Brewery.

Local MP, Jesse Norman has arranged for Hereford Brewery to be featured next month in the Strangers Bar at the House of Commons.

As patron of Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled he bought a brewing session there at a recent fundraising auction and he has recently launched a campaign to support local pubs, by rebalancing alcohol duty away from pubs and towards supermarkets.

Things all came together in a recent visit to Hereford Brewery, where Jesse was able to talk to Matt Smith, brewer, and Jim Kenyon, the owner and landlord.

Commenting afterwards Jesse said, 'Small breweries are one of the great success stories of the past decade and I am delighted that Hereford Brewery will have its own guest beer in the House of Commons in May.

It's just one more way to remind the great and the good of the many joys of Herefordshire.'


Herefordshire Council have issued an urgent warning after they received a number of complaints from elderly county residents who had been phoned and offered bogus council tax refunds. The council is aware that around a dozen people in the county, including a number from a single sheltered housing scheme have been targeted by fraudsters offering a council tax refund if they hand over their bank details.

The callers, sometimes a woman with a foreign accent usually state that as council tax payments had been paid either early or regularly for the past seven or eight years, a rebate could be offered. The callers have claimed to work for the government treasury department and in some cases have left a telephone number for people to ring.

Herefordshire Council is advising that no such rebate is available and that the calls are fraudulent. Anyone who receives such a call should simply put the phone down. The authority's Trading Standards team advises that this is just one of numerous scams they are aware of.

The team's advice is, 'Never give your bank or personal details over the phone to a cold caller. Just put the phone down.'


A group of teenage girls got more than they bargained for when they visited Hereford's South Wye Girls Group at Hinton Community Centre and found themselves carried out of the centre on a stretcher. Luckily no injuries were sustained at the event which was organized by the council's youth service. The girls were being given a talk by Sam Kelly and Graham Kinsey from the Herefordshire branch of St John Ambulance about the work that they do.

The girls' group runs at Hinton Community Centre every Wednesday from 7pm until 9pm and is aimed at 11 to 16 year olds from South Wye. The visit was part of a schedule of planned activities for this term organized by Herefordshire Council's Youth Service. Sarah Melia, of Herefordshire Council said, 'The aim of this visit was to encourage young people to consider volunteering as St John Ambulance cadets.

The girls had great fun. They were given a tour of the front line ambulance and Sam and Graham demonstrated a variety of equipment including a spine board, head immobilization device and scoop stretcher. Following the visit, the girls involved decided to say thank you to Sam and Graham for visiting them by making a donation to St John's Ambulance. They are currently planning a fund-raising event to achieve this.'

One of the young girls about to be 'Ambulanced out' of the Hinton Community Centre.


Herefordshire Council is advising motorists that West Street in Hereford (U80005) will be closed for essential repairs on the following dates:

Saturday, 14th May between 1900hrs and midnight; Sunday, 15th May between 0800hrs and 1800hrs and on Sunday, 22nd May between 0800hrs and 1800hrs.

The works will be carried out in two phases but businesses, particularly in West Street and East Street expecting deliveries may want to plan accordingly. Amey Herefordshire, the council's contracting partner, apologise for any inconvenience the works may cause.

20th April 2011


CCTV image of two men the police would like to talk to.

West Mercia Police are searching for two men they would like to speak to in relation to two robberies that both occurred in Hereford in the early hours of Saturday, 26th March.

The first incident occurred on Bridge Street sometime between 1am and 1.30am. As the victim, a 46-year-old man, made his way home he stepped aside to let two men walking in the opposite direction pass him.

Without warning the victim was hit by one of the two men, knocking him out and causing him to fall to the floor. When the victim came round a short time later he discovered that his black, HTC mobile phone, a packet of cigarettes and around £50 had been stolen.

He immediately called the police.

The second incident occurred at around 2am on Rockfield Road. As the victim, a 19-year-old man, made his way home on his skateboard, he noticed two men stood in the gate to the Tanbrook Centre. As he passed the men, one of them kicked him in the chest causing him to fall to the floor. The two men than grabbed him and demanded he hand over his phone. A struggle then took place in which the victim was hit several times and the two offenders eventually made off having stolen his HTC Desire smart phone.

Again, after this incident, the victim immediately called the policeDetective Constable Dave Bentley of Hereford CID said, 'A fair amount of unprovoked violence was used in these two robberies and I would like to find those responsible. These two men were seen on CCTV in the vicinity of the Rockfield Road robbery and we are very keen to speak to them. Anyone who recognizes them should get in touch.

We are still appealing for witnesses and would like to speak to anyone who may have been in the vicinity of Aylestone Hill or the Old Bridge between 1am and 2.15am in the early hours of Saturday, 26th March. We believe it's very possible that the two men who committed the robberies may have approached other people on the night in question, or at the very least been seen hanging around in that specific area.'

Anyone with information that could help, is asked to call DC Bentley on Hereford on 0300 333 3000. Alternatively, please remember that Crimestoppers can also be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you'd prefer to pass on information without identifying yourself.


The sun is out, but thieves are about and with the sunny weather expected to continue over the Easter Weekend and beyond, West Mercia Police are reminding residents of Herefordshire that while they are relaxing over the long weekend, they should be careful not to relax their personal security.

Although Herefordshire is a low crime area, as the temperature rises it creates greater opportunities for thieves, with easy pickings in gardens, homes and at beauty spots. There are three main areas where police are asking the public to take care; reviewing and improving their garden and shed security; keeping opportunist thieves out of your home; not leaving your valuables on display in your car at local beauty spots.

With the Easter weekend around the corner, many people will be taking the opportunity to get to work in their gardens, so Police are asking green fingered residents to help them 'weed out' garden crime by reviewing and improving their garden and shed security. Many people leave valuable equipment in gardens and unsecured sheds, providing easy pickings for opportunist thieves. So, it is important that people take the time to ensure their valuables are stored securely.

PC Charles Naylor, Crime Risk Manager for Herefordshire said, 'While many people take steps to protect their homes and the property inside them, they often leave valuable equipment such as power tools, mowers, garden tools and bikes in sheds in their gardens or allotments. Often they are unsecured or not strong or secure enough to defend against thieves. We are advising people to look at how to secure their gardens and allotments and if necessary make some adjustments.'

The force has produced a leaflet that gives further security advice, which is available to download from the force website Please see below for more useful tips.

Warmer temperatures mean that some people leave their homes literally wide open to opportunist thieves and the summer sees an increase in the incidents of 'walk in' burglaries. PC Naylor added, 'With people leaving their doors and windows open to keep their homes cool, it does present a chance to thieves who won't think twice about walking into homes to steal what they can. We aren't asking for everyone to always keep their doors and windows locked at all times, that isn't realistic. However, please don't leave your valuables in sight. For example, don't leave your car keys by an open front door or a purse near an open window. Also, don't leave doors and windows open if you aren't using that part of the house. For example, if you are in the garden, don't leave your front door open so anyone can wander in.'

Traditionally at this time of year there is an increase in the number of incidents of thefts from beauty spot car parks. PC Naylor said, 'With the weather getting nicer, many of us decide to make the most of the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. However, thieves also take the opportunity to travel out to the country, visiting remote car parks on the look out for valuables left in vehicles, whether they are locked or not. We would urge people to always remove all valuables when they are leaving their cars and only take with them what is absolutely necessary on days out. We would also ask that any valuables should be kept in sight at all times.'

Here are some useful garden security tips. Physical security of sheds:

Sheds are not well designed for safe storage so there are a number of measures you can take to make theft more difficult for burglars. Shed doors should be fitted with a good quality, close-shackle padlock and sheds with windows should be fitted with a grille or mesh. Burglar alarms can be purchased for sheds and outbuildings and battery powered shed alarms are inexpensive and can be bought from hardware shops, DIY stores or locksmiths.

Security of property inside sheds: Expensive items such as bicycles, power tools, mowers, garden tools and golf clubs should not be stored in sheds. If there is no alternative place to store them, they should be secured to a strong anchor within the shed, e.g. metal rings fixed to concrete on the shed floor. Large items should be chained together. This makes it more difficult for a thief to carry away a lot of large heavy items all at once. All items stored in a shed should be property marked.

Defensible planting: Defensible planting (prickly plants) is nature's own way of deterring burglars and increasing the security of your home and garden. It is not meant to replace, but to complement other security measures. Defensible planting can be used to protect all areas of your garden and property, e.g. perimeters, windows and drainpipes.

Boundaries and lighting: Boundary fences, gates and walls should be kept in good repair as they can prevent thieves from getting to the back and sides of a property. Good garden lighting will illuminate your garden, putting off potential thieves.

Security of tools and ladders: Garden tools and ladders should not be left lying around in gardens. Unsecured tools and ladders can be used to break into a property. All garden equipment should be property marked.

For further advice or information, contact your local policing team via 0300 333 3000.


The Easter fixture between Hereford United and Shrewsbury will attract one of the biggest crowds of the season at the Edgar Street stadium and police are anxious supporters can enjoy the occasion without incident.

More than 100 police officers will be on duty for the match, which is due to take place on Saturday, 23rd April and a warning has been issued that anyone causing trouble is likely to be arrested, charged and put before the courts. The local police commander has also advised all supporters to arrive in good time and reminded away fans they must have a ticket bought before Saturday. There will no tickets available to buy on the day.

Superintendent Charles Hill said, 'There will be a substantial policing operation to ensure genuine supporters from both sides can enjoy the game in safety without interference. There was some disorder last time the two sides met and there will be a strong policing presence to deal with anyone who does cause problems inside and outside the ground. Officers will deal robustly with any individuals who commit public order offences.

We are working closely with British Transport Police and also our West Mercia Police colleagues in Shrewsbury. A number of police officers from Shrewsbury who are aware of known troublemakers will be attending the match to act as spotters. Anyone who has caused previous problems will be well known to them.'

Shrewsbury supporters should check the Hereford United website for information about travel and parking. There is public parking for away supporters arriving by minibus at the Cattle Market and there are several other car parks in the area.

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