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During her term as Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane has had a very busy year, appearing at all kinds of occasions for all kinds of causes, whilst also raising funds for her chosen charity the Macular Society. In her speech at the Mayor Making ceremony which was attended by many local dignitaries and Mayors from other towns, Councillor Lane thanked members of the public for electing her to the Town Council in the recent elections and gave special thanks to five people in particular.

Councillor Lane works full time and said her role as Mayor would have been difficult to fulfil without the patience of her two colleagues, Amanda Wild and Mel Tilling. She also thanked Ross Town Clerk, Mrs. Denise Mason and Deputy Town Clerk Mrs. Rachel Lewis for keeping her diary full. Each of these were presented with some beautiful flowers. Councillor Lane then presented her mascot, Mayor's Guide, Chloe with a special gift to say thank you for her service, before wishing the new Mayor, Councillor David Ravenscroft good luck for his term of office.

Mayor Ravenscroft congratulated Councillor Lane on her very successful term as Mayor and presented her with her 'Former Mayor's' badge and presented a 'Former Mayor's Consort' badge to her husband, Rob. He then pronounced his wife Doreen as his lady Mayoress and presented her with flowers. During the proceedings, everybody became suddenly aware of the ringing tone of a mobile phone. It turned out that Mayor Ravenscroft was expecting a call informing him that his daughter had given birth. We hope all went well with the delivery of your grandchild, Mayor Ravenscroft and wish you a very successful term as Ross Town Mayor.

Mayor Ravenscroft being dressed in his Mayoral robes by Councillor Jo Lane watched closely by Town Clerk Denise Mason.

Outgoing Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane hands the Mayor's Chain of Office over to new Mayor, Councillor David Ravenscroft.

Mayor Ravenscroft is now robed and ready to give his speech.

Ross Town Mayor, Councillor David Ravenscroft with his Lady Mayoress, wife Doreen.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Caroline Utting (centre) with Deputy Town Cerk Rachel Lewis (left) and Town Clerk Denise Mason.


World renowned artistes, Danny Thompson and Martin Simpson will be appearing at Broome Farm in Peterstow near Ross-on-Wye for an afternoon concert on Sunday, 12th June.

In his 40-plus years as a professional musician, acoustic bass player Danny Thompson has worked with the cream of the music industry, from Roy Orbison and Rod Stewart to Pentangle, Richard Thompson and John Martyn. Widely regarded as a genius by musicians and fans alike, his improvisatory style is utterly distinctive and 'Victoria', his beloved bass, has accompanied him on dozens of albums including four solo recordings. For further information and a photograph, please visit

There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician, Martin Simpson is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety. For further information and a photograph, please visit

The concert will being at 3pm. The bar will be open and food will be available for two hours before and after the event. Tickets cost 15 each and are available from the Cider Cellar at Broome Farm or email

Further details are available from Mike Johnson on 01989 567232 or 07841 839991.

25th May 2011 ROSS ROCKS UPDATE.

Ross Rocks is just a few weeks away now and the team are pleased to see their plans for Saturday, 25th June coming together. The line up of bands has been finalized and a whole variety of locally produced entertainment as well as food and drink has been organized for the day, which will run from 11am until 11pm.

Of course, putting on events of this nature costs money and the Ross Rocks team are extremely grateful for the sponsorship received so far. However, a few more donations would be very welcome. A raffle is being organized with some great prizes. are offering a year's free advertising page to a local business which is worth £120.
Andy and Beth Morgan of the Radcliffe Guest House are offering one night's B&B for two.
Natasha Broadfield has offered 5 free Zumba sessions with 'Zumba with Natasha'
Ross Cider & Perry Co of Broome Farm, Peterstow have donated a Cider Talk, Tour and Tasting for up to eight people

Tickets cost £5 each and are available from Ross Old Books in High Street.

The line up of bands is as follows: The Lost Gonzo's, The Dandelion Killers, Saltstone, Broom Cupboard Blues, Switch, Dr Mojito, The Deadbeats, The Dandy Spiders, The City Won, Red River Blues and Splinter so there should be something to keep everybody happy. All this, interspersed with demonstrations by Ross Phoenix Majorettes, reading by poets and a mass Zumba with Tasha session, amongst other attractions makes for a fantastic day out for the whole family.


The Ross-on-Wye Acorns Support Group (Ross-on-Wye4Acorns) are always looking for different ways to raise lots of money for the childrens' hospice and many fun events have been held, raising a tremendous amount of cash. The next event to take place is a family run day. (Yes, I did say Run day!)

On Saturday, 12th June there will be two runs taking place. One is a 10k run for those aged 17 years and over and the other is a fun run for all ages. The fun run will start at 10:30am while the 10k run will begin at 11:15. Both races begin at Ross Rowing Club by kind permission of the committee. Entertainments and refreshments will be available throughout the event.

The Acorns gang are looking for more people to take part in this event, so if you are up for the challenge, get your entry forms now from GB Sports, Ross Library, Trivett Hicks, The Mighty 8 or online

Some of the Ross Acorns Support Group enjoying a Race night at the Man of Ross Inn.


This year, 2011 is the 90th Anniversary of the founding of The Royal British Legion and Branches all over the UK have been asked to help celebrate by organizing an event a request to which the Ross-on-Wye Branch has responded by arranging no less than 3!! there will be a Family Fun Day on 4th June, a Tea Party at Wilton Castle on 23rd July and a stall and float in Ross Town Carnival on Saturday, 6th August.

The first of these events, the Family Fun Day, will take place at the Caroline Symonds gardens and Bandstand at the river side in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday, 4th June. Admission is free but there will be Legion collecting buckets around and the Branch hopes you will show your appreciation by supporting them and the work of the Legion in and around Ross-on-Wye.

The Fun Day will start at 12.00 and will be packed full of cheer leading displays, historical re-enactments and a childrens' pet dog show all taking place in a central arena. The surrounding area will be just as busy with bouncy castles and roundabouts alongside vintage Norton motorbikes, the motorbikes of the Royal British Legion Riders' Branch, a pig roast from Cornwalls, a cider tent from Broome Farm together with a burger van, teas and soft drinks. There will be lots to keep the whole family entertained with the old favourites such as Hoopla, Splat the rat and Hook the Duck making a welcome return. Try your luck on the Bucking Bronco - how long can you stay on board? You can also have your face painted, including face camo!!

As well as performances, the historical re-enactment group will also have their own camp where you can talk to them about the weapons they use and how battles were fought in times gone by. Right next door, showing how battles are fought today, you will have the chance to meet members of The Rifles and learn about Army life in 2011.

There will be super prizes for all winners on the side-shows and winners in the Pet Dog Show will also be rewarded with pet care prizes as well as a certificate from the Legion to mark their success. All entries into the Show will receive a medal! After all of the excitement, or whilst the children are playing happily, Mums could slip off to the Therapy Tent for a taster of relaxation such as reiki or reflexology or why not try a reading from the therapists inside the tent?

Alongside the Legion gazebo, you will be able to put in your bid to win one of many fantastic prizes in the sealed envelope draw. Simply put your money in the envelope, write your name and phone number on the front and, if your envelope is drawn, you will win one of the prizes which include a Hereford United football and shirt, a stay in a Cotswold Hotel, a tour and wine-tasting at Three Choirs vineyard and a tour and cider-making at Broome Farm as well as many items from beauty therapy to soft toys donated by Ross-on-Wye businesses.

Next to the auction will be a stall more closely associated with the work of the Legion; you will be able to purchase a Floating Lantern, to be launched on the river later that evening, and dedicate it to a loved one lost in action or to the lads and lasses being killed and injured in conflicts today. At 8.30pm, after the Fun Day has closed, there will be a quieter celebration when, with the names of those to whom lanterns have been dedicated being read out by the Branch Chairman, the lanterns will be lit and floated on the river whilst 'Sunset' is played. An Act of Remembrance will follow and bring the day to a very fitting end reminding all of us why the Legion exists at all and of the work it still has to do in supporting the Armed Forces.


Herefordshire Council is stepping up its recruitment campaign to find more foster carers to look after Herefordshire children. The beginning of Foster Care Fortnight, from 16th to 27th May began with a hard hitting national campaign claiming that teenagers are missing out due to the shortage of foster carers.

Since the tragic death of baby Peter Connelly in August 2007, more and more children have been coming into care across the country. Nationally there are almost 6,000 more children in care on any one day than in 2007 and in Herefordshire, this figure has grown to over 200. Around two fifths of children in care in the UK are aged 11 to 15. This has always been one of the most difficult age groups to find homes for as looking after teenagers can be challenging, particularly if the teenager's experience of home life has not been a happy or stable one. Herefordshire Council has developed a comprehensive training programme to help carers develop skills to manage the more complex needs that some teenagers have. The council also pays higher fees to carers who are able to look after these young people.

Julia Walwin, foster care manager for Herefordshire Council says that foster carers are needed for children and young people of all ages in Herefordshire. 'We are constantly battling to recruit more foster carers for all age groups. We have had considerable success with our campaigns but demand continues to grow and we need to step up our recruitment work to make sure we continue to meet this demand. We are also looking for caring people who have a spare room or annexe to offer a young person aged 16 or over who needs some support to make the transition from foster care to independence.

Being a foster carer is a life changing experience, not only for the carer but for the vulnerable children and young people who need a caring, loving home to live in.'

Anyone who thinks they've got what it takes to become a foster carer is encouraged to contact the fostering team for an informal chat on 01432 383240.


Herefordshire Walking Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year from Saturday, 18th until Sunday, 26th June. The festival, which was first set up by Herefordshire Council in 2001 as a way of boosting the county's tourism after foot and mouth disease, offers more than 50 walks over the nine days.

This year is also Herefordshire Year in the Orchard celebrating 200 years since Thomas Andrew Knight published his ground breaking Pomona Herefordiensis or Book of Apples. Knight lived in Herefordshire and became the first president of the Royal Horticultural Society. To mark the Year in the Orchard, the Downton Discovery Walk connects the Knight family's cast iron tombstones at Burrington with the hidden picturesque landscape created in the 18th century at Downton by their descendants.

The One Hundred Gates & Stiles walk offers a special opportunity to discover the west of Herefordshire from Hay-on-Wye to Hereford across the Golden Valley. The journey is broken with a delicious farmhouse dinner and breakfast during your overnight stay and then set off the next morning with a country packed lunch to sustain you. This walk costs 70 per person to include two days walking, dinner, bed and breakfast sharing a twin/double room and one packed lunch.

Other walks offer a chance to learn about the county's archaeology, geology, butterflies, canals, churches and history. New this year is a special chance to explore the relationship of Hereford Cathedral to the city's evolution over four walks and a series of half hour lunchtime walks looking at hidden corners of Rotherwas.

To view the full programme and book tickets visit and click on the Walking Festival logo on the home page.


The new leader of the Conservative group on Herefordshire Council is the former cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing, Councillor John Jarvis. Councillor Jarvis brings a wealth of experience to the post having spent 17 years involved in local politics - 12 years in Braintree, Essex, and more recently five years at Herefordshire Council.

'During the last eight years we've put down a solid foundation from which to move forward,' said Councillor Jarvis. 'Although a lot has been achieved, notably the Rotherwas access road, the introduction of a new waste management system across the county including the use of wheelie bins, the new livestock market and ambitious plans for the regeneration of Hereford city centre, I want to see words turned into action. We will achieve this through a streamlined decision making process which includes a reduced cabinet supported by a team of portfolio holders responsible for defined areas of work, so overall there will be more experience involved in decision making.

We will be accountable to the electorate of Herefordshire and do not take for granted the faith they have shown by returning us to power at the elections earlier this month. Herefordshire Council will be open and transparent in the way it conducts its business. We believe this is what local people want and desire from the politicians who make important decisions on their behalf. We hold this responsibility with great regard.'

He added that senior councillors will be subject to annual reviews of their performance, including himself, and that he sees the role of scrutiny committees to help develop policies. 'No one single political group has the monopoly on good ideas. All 58 councillors have been voted in by our electorate and they all have a role to play in the democratic process of administering Herefordshire Council. We want to be open in our decision making and open in our communication with residents. There will be no secrets; what you see is what you get.'

Councillor Jarvis says the council faces a number of big issues and he's rolling up his sleeves to get stuck into the roll out of high speed broadband across Herefordshire, reducing congestion on the county's roads, bringing more affordable housing on to the market, bringing more permanent jobs to the county and creating an improved business environment which allows local businesses, both big and small, to not just survive, but thrive.

Continuing to build upon the county's groundbreaking approach to integrating health and social care services, which has already attracted national interest from policy makers, is high on his list of priorities. He says that the council and its partners' work to help people access quality and sustainable services closer to their homes will play a vital part in making sure that local health care needs can be met now and in the future.

'It's NOT a case of business as usual,' added Councillor Jarvis. 'We will work to be different and we are prepared to be judged on our performance.'

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's new Conservative Group Leader.


Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire are urging county residents to start support this year's Pride of Herefordshire awards by nominating unsung heroes in their communities.

Last year's Overall Winner was The Royal National College for the Blind who successfully hosted the 2010 World Blind Football Championships in August, an event which attracted thousands of spectators both at the stadium and on the website as well as receiving national and international television coverage. This coverage included BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5's popular Fighting Talk, BBC World Service, GMTV, Channel 4, Futbol Mondial, Fuji TV (Japan), TYCSport (Argentina), CNN and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

This year two new categories have been added to reward individuals who make a difference to their communities in a variety of ways. They are:

Herefordshire Adult Community Award: An individual or group over 18 years old making a real difference to the quality of people's everyday lives in their local area. They do something positive in their community that has an impact on others such as raising money for charity, running a community shop or club or providing support to vulnerable people.

Herefordshire Youth Community Award: An individual or group of people up to 18 years old making a real difference to the quality of people's everyday lives in their local area. They do something positive in their community that has an impact on others such as raising money for charity, running a community shop or club or providing support to vulnerable people.

Other categories are:

Herefordshire Entrepreneur Award: Someone who is successful in business, with an innovative approach. They may have diversified into new areas of work or use new technologies. Their business makes a contribution to the local economy and ideally has raised the profile of Herefordshire regionally or nationally.

Herefordshire Learner Award: Someone who has learnt new skills or knowledge and uses them in their day-to-day life. An achiever who may have overcome obstacles to progress. They may have gained a recognized qualification that has helped them to gain a new job, or use newly learnt skills to help others in their community.

Herefordshire Courage Award: Someone who in a personal or community capacity has overcome adversity. Someone who has had the courage to face their fears or do something new. They may have made their community a safer place by their actions, have done something courageous for someone else or made a selfless act, putting other people first.

Herefordshire Health Champion: Someone who has improved people's health and quality of life. They may organize sport and recreational activities in their community, support a club, organize a walking group, dance class or healthy eating club. They may be a champion for health and well-being issues, healthy lifestyles and exercise.

Herefordshire Environmental Champion: Someone who has made a difference to the environment in his or her local community. They may have introduced a recycling scheme, cleaned up a messy area or cleared footpaths. They may be a champion for climate change, bio-diversity, preservation of key species or conservation of locally historic buildings.

Herefordshire Young Carer Award: Someone up to 18 years old who looks after or helps others, whether family at home or in their community. They may care for animals that need help. They may check on someone, do their shopping for them, clean around the house or garden, or just keep them company.

Herefordshire Adult Carer Award: Someone who looks after or helps others, whether family at home or in their community. They may care for animals that need help. They may check on someone, do their shopping for them, clean around the house or garden, or just keep them company.

Overall winner: There is also an overall winner award which is given to one of the individual award winners who judges feel has made the most significant contribution to raising pride within the county. The Pride of Herefordshire awards are organized by Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire and the Hereford Journal and this year West Mercia Police are also supporting the event.

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday, 27th July and winners will be announced at a special awards night at the Three Counties Hotel, Hereford, on Wednesday, 12th October. For further information and nomination forms, please log onto


South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman has been campaigning to get more local brews into the House of Commons. Last week he celebrated the success of Hereford Brewery by pulling a pint of Best in the Strangers Bar there.

Hereford Brewery is owned and managed by its founder Jim Kenyon, who was recently elected as a new city and county councillor. The brewery produces 1,200 pints a week, mainly for local consumption.

Commenting afterwards, Jesse said, 'Herefordshire is the national home of great food and drink. So it's really good to have Hereford Best recognised as a guest ale in the House of Commons. It's already had some very admiring reviews from my colleagues!'


NHS Herefordshire has become aware that screening using ultrasound technology for stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm and other vascular diseases is currently being offered in Herefordshire to members of the public on a private basis and at a cost which may exceed 100.

These screening tests have not been commissioned by NHS Herefordshire and NHS Herefordshire cannot therefore provide any assurance regarding their quality or accuracy. Anyone invited for screening of this type is advised that ultrasound based screening is not recommended by the UK National Screening Committee for detecting these conditions and may produce unreliable results. Unreliable screening may lead to unnecessary worry or false reassurance.

This year, NHS Herefordshire will be rolling out the national NHS Health Checks programme to assess individuals' risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or experiencing a stroke and to provide tailored advice and support to help people to reduce their risk of ill health. The NHS Health Checks programme is targeted at people aged 40 to 74 years who have not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions. NHS Health Checks meet national guidelines and are free of charge.

Dr Sarah Aitken, interim director of public health said, 'Screening is an effective way of identifying individuals who are at risk of certain medical conditions at an early stage before they start to have symptoms. But it is important that screening programmes follow national guidelines and are used for people in the correct age group, otherwise, there is a risk of inaccurate results which can lead to undue anxiety and suffering. Furthermore, because of the importance of ensuring that people can get prompt access to any support, advice and treatment that they might need we don't recommend that health screening tests are done in isolation.

NHS Herefordshire provides effective screening programmes for cervical, bowel and breast cancers, diabetic retinopathy and abdominal aortic aneurysm. We have also been running a pilot programme for NHS Health Checks which offers free assessments to identify people who may be at risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. People who are indentified as being at risk of these conditions are followed up with further investigations and treatment by highly skilled specialist staff in a safe environment. I strongly urge people in the eligible age groups to take up the screening which is available on the NHS.'

Further information on NHS screening programmes can obtained by visiting or from local GP surgeries.


Mrs Jean Rendall of Hereford was the lucky winner of a super summer hamper full of luscious local goodies when she visited Herefordshire Council's 'Step in the Right Direction' event held in High Town on Wednesday, 11th May. The event was part of the countywide walking promotion that takes place in May with the aim of encouraging and helping people to make travel choices that are good for their health and their pockets.

Recently, Local Transport Minister Norman Baker restated the Coalition Government's commitment to supporting sustainable travel initiatives. He noted that half of all car journeys are under five miles and that there could be improvements to health, air quality and traffic congestion if more of these journeys were undertaken either on foot, bike, or by public transport.

Mrs. Rendall, who lives in the city said, 'I was so surprised when I found out I had won this hamper. I usually get around the city by bicycle so that's low carbon travel without congestion which means I don't have to feel guilty eating all this delicious local food.'

If you'd like to find out more about walking and cycling in the county please start by visiting

Jean Rendall with Paula McGivern (left) and Tess Vaughan (right) of Herefordshire Council.


Herefordshire Council is to close the Garrick House multi storey car park in Hereford on three Sundays in June to allow essential maintenance works to be carried out. The car park will be closed on Sunday, 5th, Sunday, 12th and Sunday, 19th June to minimize any inconvenience to the public. Notices will be put up advising of the closure and people are advised to find alternative car parks if they intend to visit Hereford on any of these three Sundays.

David Hepworth, Herefordshire Council's parking enforcement team leader said, 'We have chosen to carry out these repairs on Sundays because these are quieter days and the closure will have less impact on shoppers and commuters.'


A special event is being organized by Herefordshire Council to mark World Environment Day. The event will take place in High Town, Hereford on Monday, 6th June from 9.30am until 4pm and will feature a variety of stalls from Herefordshire Council and other groups to show people how they can lessen the impact their activities have on the environment.

Advice will be available from council teams on biodiversity and how to create good habitats for wildlife, while the integrated transport team can offer hints on reducing fuel bills by either car sharing or using public transport. The council's waste reduction team will be able to offer advice on recycling and how to compost your garden waste while the sustainability team can offer tips on reducing energy consumption in homes and community buildings. New Leaf, the Bulmer Foundation and Ecohere are also supporting the event.

Richard Wood, Herefordshire Council's waste and sustainability manager said, 'As fuel bills continue to rise both for our homes and cars, this event offers a chance for people to find out how they can not only reduce their energy costs but also reduce the amount of harmful carbon emissions their activities create. This event will also offer advice on reducing the amount of waste they produce, tips on items that can be recycled and how to compost to deal with their garden waste.

Ecohere and the Bulmer Foundation will also be offering advice on how communities and individuals can live in a more sustainable way and reduce their energy costs.'


The 30mph speed limit on the A4110 through Canon Pyon in Herefordshire is to be enforced by the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia due to the high speeds of vehicles travelling through the village.

The new mobile speed enforcement site forms part of the 'Community Concern' programme which responds to concerns from local people about the speeds of vehicles travelling through their communities. The Speed data collected shows that the two thirds of all vehicles exceed the 30mph speed limit in Canon Pyon and 15% of vehicles travel above 38mph. Enforcement was due to commence during the week beginning 23rd May 2011. Data will also be collected after the launch to assess the impact of enforcement on speeds and driver behaviour. It is hoped that the speed camera van will significantly reduce the number of speeding drivers and improve the overall safety of the road for all users.

Katy Jenkins, of the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia said, 'Concern has been raised from the local community via West Mercia Police. It is hoped that the new mobile speed enforcement site will encourage drivers to comply with the 30mph speed limit through the village.'

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is made up of 13 partner agencies including Herefordshire Council and West Mercia Police. The aim of the Partnership is to reduce the number of casualties and make the roads safer for all users in West Mercia through speed enforcement and by seeking to change attitudes and behaviour.


The Library service is offering children the chance to have some half term fun at Hereford Library on Friday, 3rd June. Youngsters will be able to make a woodland crown and listen to some stories from Ian Johnstone from 11am to Noon. Ian Johnstone is a Forest School leader at Charlotte's Wood, a beautiful twenty acre woodland at Barton Hill, Kentchurch in Herefordshire. The session is for 4 - 8 year olds and their parents and is free although you will need to book.

Anne-Marie Dossett, Herefordshire Council's reader development librarian said, 'This will be a lovely activity to bring your children to this half term. It is free to join the library and if your child joins the library during half term they will receive a free small Bookstart Bear.'

The counties libraries also run regular free story and bounce and rhyme sessions. For further information, please visit

To book your ticket call 01432 383600.


Local residents are being reminded to consider their neighbours this week, as Noise Action Week comes to Herefordshire. Safer Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council are marking Noise Action Week in the county from Monday, 23rd to Friday, 27th May.

Herefordshire Council's Environmental Protection Team will be working with partner agencies to raise awareness of the impacts neighbour noise has on communities, along with promoting simple measures which can be taken to prevent noise problems. Noise can cause distress and disruption to anyone, whether it's at home, work or leisure.

During Noise Action Week, Herefordshire residents are asked to consider their neighbours by thinking about the amount of noise they may make and reduce it where possible. The most frequent cases of neighbour noise complaints relate to barking dogs, loud music, shouting, banging doors and DIY activities. Herefordshire residents are urged to support Noise Action Week by:
Considering the noise they make and the effect it may have on others.
Considering the noises which disturb them.
Using practical solutions to limit everyday noises.

For residents who are affected by a neighbour's noise the advice is to politely approach them and ask if they can limit the noise they're making. A large majority of the time, people are simply unaware that they're making too much noise and disturbing those around them. However, if the problem persists or a personal approach is not possible, Herefordshire Council's Environmental Protection Team is available on 01432 261761 or They are able to act in both an advisory and enforcement role to reduce noise issues.

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