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At the end of their 2010 / 2011 year the Ross Lions Club held their annual Handover event and a new President took over the reins to lead the club for the coming year. Around forty members and guests attended the Handover which took place at the Chasedale Hotel in Ross-on-Wye.

Following a most enjoyable lunch, outgoing President, Lion Trevor Smith, made his final speech in which he said he had had a tough but successful year. He reminded the members and other guests that the Lions were a service organization, but that they had raised over £12,000 during his year in office and given out donations of a similar amount; for which he was very proud. He thanked all the members for giving him all their support throughout the year especially his committee chairmen.

Mentioning the Ross Young Lions, the Leos, he said he had attended their third Charter Evening and felt very proud at how they ran the club and the success they were having in raising funds in a happy comradely manner whilst helping the community with many donations. Lion Trevor then proceeded to present his Activities, Community Services Chairman and Vice President with an award for all the hard work they had carried out over the year.

Before taking over his new office, incoming President, Lion Sam Phillips, thanked Lion Trevor for all the effort he had put in during his year in office and presented him with a gift from the club. Lion Sam Phillips is well known in the town, being greatly involved with the Ramblers, Walkers are Welcome, the Cycling club and the Betzdorf Twinning Association, among his many other activities.

Outgoing President, Lion Trevor, then proceeded to hand over the Badge of Office to Lion Sam, wishing him all the best for the coming year. Sam accepted the promotion in his usual casual, carefree way and vowed to do all he could to make the year successful. His main aims were to make the club stronger, both in numbers and work ethic, and to keep meetings as short as possible. Typical Sam!

His officers will remain unchanged, with Lion Bernard Fowkes being Secretary and Public Relations Officer, Lion Don Wood his Treasurer, and Lion Sue Wilding the Minutes Officer. All in all it was an enjoyable event.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lions or you would like to join them, please visit their web site at or telephone 0845 8335786 for further information.

Lion Trevor Smith hands over the chain of office to new President, Lion Sam Phillips.

The guests get together for a photograph in the lovely gardens at the Chasdale Hotel.


New Ross Cinema, 'Screen at the Phoenix' will officially open on Friday, 8th July with an eight day film festival which will run until Friday, 15th July. Films will be shown on a four metre screen with top quality, high definition projection and surround sound. The auditorium is fitted with very comfortable raked seating and the venue also boasts a bar where both soft and alcoholic drinks will be available at competitive prices.

The festival to celebrate the opening of the exciting new venture will show a mixture of old and new films with wide appeal, reflecting the kind of movies which will be screened there in future months and years. The films chosen for the festival have been chosen by the Phoenix Cinema committee but public suggestions for future films will be encouraged.

A launch gala will be held at the Phoenix Theatre at 6pm which will be followed by the screening of Crazy Heart. The schedule for the rest of the festival is as follows:

Saturday, 9th July at 7pm - Red; Sunday, 10th July - Toy Story 3 at 3pm then Up in the Air at 7pm; Monday, 11th July - The King's Speech at 3pm then Zatoichi at 7pm; Tuesday, 12th July - North by North West at 3pm then Moon at 7pm; Wednesday, 13th July - Home at 3pm then The Ghost at 7pm; Thursday, 14th July - Modern Times at 3pm then Tell No One at 7pm; Friday, 15th July - Star Trek at 3pm then Walk the Line at 7pm.

Screen at the Phoenix is a community project funded by Ross Town Council. Ticket prices will be kept to a minimum, based on covering costs, including the unavoidable screening licence fees. There are no paid employees as all the work is done by volunteers.

The online box office is now open at and tickets can also be purchased at Rossiter Books in High Street. You are advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.


Over 220 Year 6 students attended John Kyrle for their induction day on Wednesday, 30th June so that they could become familiarized with their new surroundings, tutors and teachers before the new school year starts in September. The day involves a range of taster lessons, quizzes, a question and answer session with current students and a free introductory meal in the school canteen.

Induction day is always a busy day at John Kyrle, and this year was no exception. The school's intake is currently at an all time high and students will be joining John Kyrle from a huge number of partner schools, including many students from outside the school's traditional catchment area. Head of Lower School, Trixie Williams, said how well behaved the Year 6 students were and that they were great ambassadors for their primary schools. She went onto add that it was certainly a very busy and exciting day and the new Year 7 tutor team were most impressed with their Year 6 cohort.

Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths was delighted to welcome so many happy and bright students. The feedback he had received from his staff during the day was very positive and everyone is looking forward to the students joining the school officially in September. Mr. Griffiths said, 'As ever, our new students are a credit to their families and also to their Primary Schools who do such excellent work in preparing students for the move to High School.'

A happy group of Year 6 students looking forward to attending the John Kyrle High School in September.


Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a pub in Ross-on-Wye was broken into on Tuesday, 5th July and a large amount of change stolen from its fruit machines. At around 4am, a large window was broken at the back of the Mail Rooms Pub, facing Old Gloucester Road, and approximately £900 was stolen.

Sergeant Greg McFarlane from Ross Police Station said, 'CCTV at the pub shows a male in dark clothing and wearing what appears to be a balaclava, climbing in through the broken window. This occurred at 4am, a time when there would have been very few people in Ross town centre and anything out of ordinary would have stood out. I would like to hear from anyone who was around that early and who saw or heard anything suspicious.'

Sergeant McFarlane can be contacted via the West Mercia Police non-emergency line, 0300 333 3000, or information can be passed on anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


The 2010 Sandford Heritage education award winner, Museum on the Move is on the road again with a new exhibition for 2011.

'Our Changing World' will offer visitors of all ages a chance to discover how the world has continually changed over the last 4.5 billion years and find out why some species have disappeared and why some have survived. The exhibition explores this natural process and asks what caused mass extinction and what can we do now for our threatened species, featuring amongst others the dormouse, the red squirrel, the water vole, the lapwing and the crocodile.

Councillor Roger Phillips, of Herefordshire Council said, 'I am delighted our successful Museum on the Move continues to offer exciting and thought provoking exhibitions which can go out to rural communities. The exhibition includes a strong hands on element with plenty of objects for visitors to explore together with friendly staff to help people make the most of their visit.'

Over the past 10 years, the Museum on the Move has visited village shows, residential homes, day centres and community groups as well as town centres. The museum has already visited Kingstone and Thruxton School Fete and members of the public are welcome to visit the exhibition either at Sutton St. Nicholas Village Fete on Saturday, 9th July, Historic Hereford Day in High Town, Hereford on Saturday, 16th July or Ross Town Centre on Friday, 22nd July.

For further information please telephone 01432 383599.

Some of the exhibits included in the new Museum on the Move tour.


Ross Phoenix Majorettes gave a brilliant performance at the recent Ross Rocks Festival and soon, the internationally successful team will be recruiting new members. The Majorettes are looking for boys and girls aged from 6 to 16 years to join them and no experience is necessary.

You will learn military marching, baton twirling, dance and pom-pom routines. You will also be part of the discipline, fun, confidence and team spirit that is at the heart of Ross Phoenix and take part in demonstrations and competitions. All equipment and costumes are provided.

For further information, please telephone Karen Slater on 01989 567345 or Tracie Cox on 01594 823227.


A man has was sentenced to twelve months in prison at a trial which took place at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, 1st July. Lorry driver, Mr. Graham Thomas Morgan, aged 51 had admitted at an earlier hearing to two counts of causing death by careless driving. Once he is released, Morgan will also be banned from driving for twelve months.

Inspector Jim McLaughlin said, 'This terrible incident has had a significant impact on many people: the families of Terri-Ann Barnett and Thomas Matts, as well Mr Morganís family and the wider community in Hereford. A simple error can lead to devastating, lifelong consequences and this is something we should always remember, whatever vehicle we are driving. Our thoughts are with the families of Terri-Ann and Thomas at this difficult time.'

6th July 2011

WEST MERCIA POLICE PILOT NEW WAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TO TACKLE DOMESTIC ABUSE

Detective Sergeant Sharon Avery.

A new way of tackling domestic abuse and protecting victims is being piloted by West Mercia Police. The use of Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders (DVPN/Os) was launched on Friday, 1st July, with West Mercia trialling them in South Worcestershire initially before rolling them out across the force over the next few months.

DVPNs and DVPOs give police the power to ban an offender from returning to the victimís home, which could also be their home, and to place further restrictions in order to protect a victim and any children that may be at risk.

The new process builds on existing police measures, providing immediate emergency protection for a victim, giving protected space for them to explore the options available to them and make informed decisions regarding their safety. The notice can be authorized by an officer of Superintendent rank or above and the case will be presented before magistrates within 48 hours of it being served. If magistrates decide to make a DVPO the order can last between 14 and 28 days.

Detective Sergeant Sharon Avery is co-ordinating the pilot project nationally and for West Mercia Police, which involves working closely with local partners involved in Domestic Abuse Forums, Victim Support and Womenís Aid.

She said, 'Domestic violence can have a devastating and long term affect on its victims and their children. In the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident often the only option available for the victim and their children is for them to leave the family home. This can have a negative impact on the victimís well-being and causes disruption to any children involved.

This new pilot seeks to redress the balance by placing the requirement to leave the home on the person using the violence rather than the victims of that violence. The DVPN/O pilot is an exciting opportunity for West Mercia Police, providing further enhancement to the domestic abuse services already being provided by the force.'

Ros Walker, Strategic Co-ordinator for The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse added, 'The Forum is committed to the pilot of DVPN/Os in Worcestershire. Frequently the risk to a victim is at its highest during the period between an incident of domestic abuse being reported to the police and the point at which prosecutions are implemented.

Issuing DVPNs (police) and DVPOs (courts) provides the victim with immediate protection and allows an opportunity for a decision about longer term protection. However, the concern is that victims will not come forward and report incidents for fear of recrimination. The evaluation of the pilot will no doubt establish whether or not this concern is founded. In the meantime, all Forum partners will fully support the implementation of the pilot and continue to provide support, time and effort to keeping victims and their families safe, whilst holding perpetrators to account for their behaviour.'

Once a DVPN/O has been issued the police will then refer the victim to Victim Support. Victim Support will then contact the victim to conduct a needs assessment to see what help and support they require. Where specific needs are identified they will put them in touch with an independent domestic violence adviser from Womenís Aid. Last year 2,925 victims of domestic violence were referred to the charity in West Mercia.

Victim Support Divisional Manager for West Mercia, Chris Norfolk said, 'We are delighted to be working in partnership with West Mercia Police and Womenís Aid. Domestic violence can ruin lives and nobody should have to suffer in silence. This new partnership will mean that victims will be able to get help and support from an early stage so that they can make informed choices to help stop the abuse.'

The pilot will last 12 months and will then be assessed by the Home Office. Pilots are also being run by Wiltshire Police and Greater Manchester Police.

For information and help: In an emergency call 999. Incidents can also be reported by calling West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000.
For confidential free advice and help, call the Worcestershire Domestic Abuse Help line on 0800 980 3331 or visit
For more information on DVPN/Os visit
For Victim Supportís Victim Care Unit call 0300 303 1977

Domestic Abuse - Facts and figures: Domestic abuse is a crime which usually happens behind closed doors and many incidents are not reported to the police or other statutory agencies.
Two women per week on average are killed in the UK by domestic abuse.
It is estimated that one in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lives.
Situations routinely arise in which a suspected offender who is not charged or otherwise on bail is free to return to the scene of abuse, sometimes within hours of arrest. So in many cases the risk to the victim can be as great, or indeed greater, following the arrest of the suspect.


Police searching for a man who went missing in Herefordshire have found a body. Ion Adrian Tuna, aged 20, who is from Romania and is working in the county as an agricultural worker, has not been seen since Monday, 13th June. He was living and working in Hom Green near Ross-on-Wye and was last seen by work colleagues. On Tuesday, 28th June, a man's body was found near the church at Hom Green.

Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes said, 'The body has yet to be formally identified and to undergo a post mortem, but we do not believe at this time there are any suspicious circumstances. We are waiting for documentation to be sent from Romania that will help us confirm whether or not the body that has been found is that of Mr Tuna. His family in Romania are being kept informed of all developments and our thoughts are with them at this time.'


The weaher was little hit and miss for St. Mary's Chruch annual Strawberry Fare last week but for the most part, the sun shone. This annual event not only raises money for St. Mary's. however; it also gives local organizations an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for themselves too.

There were stalls for Ross Rainbows, where my very good friend Amy king was selling toys, Ross Macmillan Cancer Support, where Sue Edwards was running a great Tombola stall (unfortunately, I didn't win!) and lots of activities such as face painting, provided by Jules King and a bouncy castle.

Inside the church was a range of stalls and information stands for Ross Lions Club, Ross Choral Society, Ross-in-Bloom and many more and I believe that everobdy enjoyed a fun and successful day.

Amy King, selling lots of lovely, cuddly toys.

Sue Edwards and friends. The tombola was very popular and there was little left by the time I got there.

The children had lots of fun on the bouncy castle.

Ross Lions Club, along with many other organizations had a stand iside the church.

There was a lovely range of plants available too.


Christopher Vivian appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, 4th July, charged with the murder of popular local man, James Ball in Ross-on-Wye in March. Vivian, aged 22, whose last address was December House, Copse Cross Street, Ross, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and was remanded into custody. The trial is expected to take place in January 2012.


Jesse Norman MP and his team of volunteers organized a summit for Herefordshire parish councils and other community organizations recently. The theme was 'Living Villages' and looked at how to make villages and rural services more sustainable and resilient. Over 80 people attended the Summit, which was held at the Cider Museum in Hereford.

The speakers included John Coleman, of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on localism; local architect Jonathan Hines and businessman Lars Carlsson, on sustainable housing; Councillor Michael Chater of the National Association of Local Councils, on parish and town councils; Peter Cleasby, Chair of the Plunkett Foundation, on saving pubs and shops; and Cllr Graham Powell, on protecting rural services. Councillor John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council, was in the chair.

Speaking afterwards, Jesse said, 'Our villages are the lifeblood of Herefordshire's rural communities, and we must do everything we can to support them. I am thrilled that there has been so much interest in our first Living Villages summit, and I am very grateful to my team, to Anthony Bush at the Council, and to our excellent speakers for their contributions. We will look to take forward this energy in future meetings and follow up work.'

Jesse Norman, MP, speaking at his Living Villages summit.


Herefordshire Council's cabinet has given the go ahead for plans to raise extra income to help protect front line services. Facing unprecedented cuts in government funding, the council's cabinet agreed on Thursday, 30th July to raise charges for a handful of services to bring in an extra £712,000 to help offset the £10.3 million the council has to find in savings to balance this year's budget.

'We have made a pledge to protect the services the most vulnerable in our communities depend on and we've earmarked an extra £3.5 million for adult social care,' said Council Leader, Councillor John Jarvis. 'We're facing levels of government cuts never experienced before and we're doing everything we can to minimize the impact on front line services that are essential to our communities. Our response to the reduction in government funding has been planned for some time and we're already well advanced in our plans to share services between the council and NHS Herefordshire.

This is an increasingly difficult time for public services - we want to continue to deliver front line services, but we're not a rich and affluent county and we need to make sure charges are fairer. When you compare us with other similar authorities, we do not bring in as much income through charges. Importantly, any charges cannot be set to make a profit. We fully understand the impact of these changes, but in a small way, we hope to protect front line services which many vulnerable people rely upon.'

The proposals cabinet agreed include: Changes to car parking charges; Parents and carers will be asked to make a greater contribution towards the costs of home / school transport; Charging for pre-application planning advice; Review adult social care charges.

The details of the proposals will now have to be worked out in detail with plans for consultation and communication already in place to ensure those affected by the changes will be made aware of what's being proposed. Cabinet also agreed that the council's overview and scrutiny committee explore further ways of developing income generation to protect services.


Herefordshire Council has submitted a planning application to deliver the Hereford Connect2 Greenway which will provide a new walking and cycling route across Hereford city to Rotherwas and beyond. Following public engagement and stake holder consultation over recent months, the scheme will involve a new cable stayed bridge being built over the River Wye from Outfall Works Road. It will cater for non-motorised users including pedestrians, cyclists and disabled users by including graded ramp approaches on both sides to help access.

Once across the river, the route will be traffic free via the railway underpass into the Rotherwas Industrial Estate, then following for most part the line of the dismantled railway and making the all important wider connections into the rest of the estate. The dismantled railway then allows for the future development of the route through to Holme Lacy.

The scheme will tie into the National Cycle Network in Hereford and allow Route 44 to continue south towards Ross-on-Wye while also offering an eastern extension to route 46 currently connecting Abergavenny and Hereford. It is anticipated the application will be determined within 16 weeks of being submitted and, if approved, that work will then start on the Greenway so it can be completed by the beginning of 2013. The application number is DMS/111601/F and consultation letters have been sent to neighbouring properties and statutory bodies.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'It is wonderful to have reached this major milestone for the Hereford Connect2 Greenway which will provide a pleasant non-motorised route from the city centre to Rotherwas with the added health and well-being benefits of encouraging more people to walk and cycle.'

The Hereford Connect2 Greenway forms part of charity Sustrans' Connect2 project, aimed at providing new everyday walking and cycling opportunities across the UK. Nationally across 79 schemes, Connect2 was awarded £50million from the Big Lottery following a public vote at the end of 2007 and part of this grant, together with funding from Herefordshire Council, will be used to deliver the Hereford scheme.

An artist's impression of the new bridge which will be delivered as part of the scheme.


Local MP, Jesse Norman called his first debate in the House of Commons last week, and the first full debate ever on the Private Finance Initiative. MPs lined up from all parts of the political spectrum to join Jesse in pushing the Government to conclude a new Code of Conduct on the Private Finance Initiative. At stake are up to £1 billion in savings for the taxpayer.

Jesse has led the PFI campaign from the start, and opened the debate. He said, 'It is amazing to think that this is the first full parliament debate on the Private Finance Initiative since it started 20 years ago. The Blair and Brown governments saddled the country with £200 billion in debt through the PFI, without even allowing a full debate on the topic. This debt touches all of us in Herefordshire through Hereford Hospital, which has high parking charges and millions of pounds of unnecessary cost as a result of the PFI. We need a new settlement on the PFI. That's why I am delighted that the Government is taking this issue so seriously, and is moving towards a new Code of Conduct on the PFI.

Replying for the Government, Economic Secretary Justin Greening MP said, 'The Chancellor and the Commercial Secretary have both met with my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford and South Herefordshire. We fully support the principle of making savings in PFI contracts and we will look carefully at how we can do that over the coming weeks, months and years.'

The debate can be found on

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BY JOINING MONEY BOX CREDIT UNION.

Jesse Norman, MP, celebrated the start of co-operatives fortnight last week by joining Herefordshire's own credit union, Money Box, and emphasizing his own commitment to the co-operative ethos in a speech in the House of Commons. In his speech, Jesse highlighted the value of co-ops as organisations, and described his own work over more than 20 years to promote employee-led mutual organisations. Jesse signed up to join Money Box with Vanessa Allwright of the Newton Farm Information Centre in Hereford.

Speaking afterwards, Jesse said, 'I am delighted to have joined Money Box. It is a superb Herefordshire credit union which offers loans at very low cost relative to high street banks - just under 13% APR at present, which is very good value for money in these difficult economic times.'

Jesse's speech in the House can be found by visiting

Jesse signs up for Money Box Credit Union.

6thJuly 2011


Nicholas Slocombe - wanted by Police.

Shops and business approached by people asking for sponsorship or donations for charity should always check the person's credentials before handing over any money, police have warned.

West Mercia Police have been working with Cheshire Constabulary and Staffordshire Police to investigate a series of reports since the beginning of the year of a man claiming he was collecting sponsorship for a run or marathon in aid of a Leukaemia charity. The claims are believed to be false and in April, police arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of fraud by false representation in connection with more than 30 incidents across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire.

The suspect, Nicholas Slocombe, was interviewed and released on police bail pending further enquiries. He failed to answer that bail in May and since then extensive enquiries to contact and locate him have proved unsuccessful. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

It is not known whether Nicholas Slocombe is still in the local area, as he is believed to travel outside Shropshire and may have left the county since his arrest and be anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Police Constable Steve Perry, who is co-ordinating the police investigation, appealed for the public's help in finding Mr Slocombe, who is also believed to use the names Owen Roswell and Arron Renfrey. 'Mr Slocombe is wanted on suspicion of a large number of fraud offences across four counties, after failing to answer police bail last month,' he said. 'If anyone knows of his whereabouts or recognizes him, please could they contact West Mercia Police immediately on 0300 333 3000.

I would also urge any shops or other businesses who might be approached by persons asking for sponsorship or charity donations to make thorough checks first to ensure that the person collecting is genuine. Ideally, do not hand over any money there and then if you wish to sponsor a person and contact the charity they say they are collecting on behalf of to check their credentials.'


The public's views on Herefordshire's Highways and Transport services will soon be compared with others across England, thanks to the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey. Herefordshire Council is one of nearly 70 local authorities to sign up to a standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Hampshire, Hertfordshire or Herefordshire.

The survey, which is being run for the fourth year, is the result of months of hard work between the National Highways & Transport Network (NHT) and a regional Highways Service Improvement Group. It enables Local Authorities to compare results, share in best practice and identify opportunities to work together in the future. The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of 4,500 Herefordshire residents during July with local and national results expected to be published later in the summer. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part. The results will enable us to find out what people in Herefordshire think about these important services and will provide one of several ways Herefordshire Council can assess how it is performing and which services to prioritise, and to improve.

Clive Hall, Herefordshire Council's Highway Network manager said, 'There are clear benefits to conducting a public survey in this way. As well as providing excellent value for money, it also enables everyone involved to identify areas of best practice and spot national, regional and local trends. This is not about producing a league table to champion one geographical area over another, it is about understanding customer views better and working together to deliver the best possible outcomes for local residents.

I would urge anyone contacted to take part in this survey to ensure they have their say so the views of Herefordshire residents can be heard and responded to.'

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