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Special birthday greetings go to Jules King, who celebrated her XXth birthday with a party for family and friends at the Royal Hotel on Saturday, 23rd July. Lots of great food was enjoyed by all and guests happily danced away to a disco, playing songs by many great artistes of the era!

When the birthday cake candle was lit, daughters, Rachael and Amy took the mic and sang 'Happy Birthday' to their mum.

Jules has another reason to celebrate at the moment as she and her husband, Martin opened their new shop 'Senior Moments' in conjunction with a new tourism venture with Mary Sinclair-Powell in Ross-on-Wye on Monday, 1st August. All good wishes to you on both counts, Jules!

Rachael and Amy sing 'Happy Birthday' to their mum.....

....whilst Martin holds the birthday cake.

Jules and Martin cut the cake to share with their guests.


Local businesses are being invited to apply for grants which could enable them to buy equipment, modernize the way the way they work or diversify their product range. Herefordshire Business Board has announced that the Business Booster and Training Voucher Schemes will again be available to help local businesses through the continuing tough and challenging financial times.

'We have allocated funds to support these schemes for another year due to their effectiveness in providing businesses with the financial support necessary to achieve a variety of goals. These have included job creation, increase in turnover and bringing new products to market,' said Neil Kerr, chairman of the Herefordshire Business Board. 'The aims of the two grant schemes have been tailored to deliver the aspirations of the Herefordshire Business Board and we are pleased to enable these schemes to be delivered during a time when public sector grants and funds are limited.'

The Business Booster Grant is a capital grant scheme. It can be used to support the growth or diversification of existing micro, small and medium sized businesses through a range of initiatives including the purchase of capital equipment, the modernization of facilities or the ability to create or enhance a web site Successful applications will be offered a grant of between 250 and 4,000, which will have to be match-funded by the applicant paying up to 50 per cent. The scheme will be delivered in two tranches, with the first deadline for applications of Friday, 23rd September at 4pm. A decision will be made about the timing of the second tranche once the interest in the first round has been established.

The Training Voucher Scheme provides financial support for businesses to send employees on training that will make a difference to the viability or diversification of the business. This can include support for new starters, personal development, vocational/specialist training or enabling employees to move to a new role, this is particularly suitable for training a group of staff or for more innovative training approaches. Successful businesses applying to the scheme will be offered a training voucher up to a maximum of 750, which will have to be match-funded by the applicant paying a minimum of 25 per cent.

The finance behind these schemes has been provided by Herefordshire Council as part of its ongoing support to assist the growth of the local economy. 'We understand the importance to small businesses of being able to access finance in what continues to be a tough financial climate,' said Councillor Roger Phillips, Cabinet Member for Economic Development. 'These schemes award small amounts of money but are significant in what they allow the businesses to achieve and the employment generation they have created; they represent very good value for taxpayer money.'

Application Forms can be found by visiting:
Businesses looking for further information about these opportunities should contact Herefordshire Council's economic development team on 01432 383633.

John Jones of Phillip Morris & Son with Mark Jones and Luke Turner, with their country clothing catalogue.


Herefordshire Council's heritage services team is running a fun workshop during the summer holidays. On Monday, 8th August from 11am until 1pm at the Market House Visitor Centre, there will be an Historic Headgear and Heraldry event.

Alexia Clark, Herefordshire Council's Visitor Services Officer, said 'This event will offer youngsters the chance to make their own jester hat, helmet or crown as well as designing their own coat of arms. All people have to do to reserve a place is telephone 01432 260666 and the cost is just 1 per child.'

3rd August 2011


Photograph by Simon Cropper.

On Saturday, 23rd July the Ross-On-Wye Branch of The Royal British Legion hosted a 1940's/1950's themed afternoon tea in aid of the 90th Anniversary Celebrations at Wilton Castle, Ross-on-Wye.

During the two weeks leading up to the event Margaret (Membership Secretary) who organised the event, together with her daughter Fiona and members of the Committee distributed over five hundred leaflets, by having a table in Morrison's and the Market Square.

Margaret and Fiona organised the catering, baking all the old time favourites, such as bread pudding, scones, boiled fruit cake, treacle tarts etc., plus jelly and custard, fruit and evaporated milk.

On the day Margaret had a team of family and friends, volunteers from the Sea Cadets and members of the Ross Branch of the Legion, who all made the event such a success.

Jason, (Margaret's grandson - an RBLB Member) worked tirelessly not only on the day but the whole weekend and Megan and Misha (granddaughters) acted as waitresses. The venue Wilton Castle, together with the beautiful weather made the afternoon.

Professor Alan Harrison played the pipes welcoming people, 1940's/1950's music was played throughout the afternoon and a tour of the castle was included. The Mayor of Ross-On-Wye, Councillor David Ravenscroft and the County Co-ordinator attended and everyone had a very enjoyable time, so much so that it was asked if the event would be repeated next year.

Margaret's secret wish was to raise 1,000 but it all depended on the weather. In the end the final figure was 1,384 with which she was delighted. The event was a great success in raising the profile of The Royal British Legion, hopefully recruiting at least three new members, two new committee members and a transfer in member.

Margaret would like to stress that this was a complete team effort and is most grateful to everybody who helped.

In the photograph are: James Phillips and James Denny on the balcony, Robert Hudson Jessica Oakley and James Lilwall, Richard Ceci (Standard Bearer) Megan Cameron, Amisha Cormac, Mayor David Ravenscroft, Viv Warrington (President), Margaret Jones (Membership Secretary) and Ian Hedges (Branch Chairman.)

3rd August 2011


Canoeists on the Wye near Kerne Bridge.

The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit is managing a project to refurbish the canoe launches at Ross-on-Wye and Kerne Bridge which will commence in August. The alterations will take 3 to 4 weeks to complete and the project will create new modern facilities at the Herefordshire Council owned sites. The innovative designs will also provide enhanced access for people with disabilities for the first time on the River Wye.

The project has already produced a new Canoeists Guide Book that is available free to those hiring canoes through local hire companies. A Canoeists Code of Conduct leaflet has also been produced which will be used by canoe hire operatives and new information boards will be installed at the canoe launch sites after construction.

The project has been funded by the Advantage West Midlands Natural Assets fund, the Environment Agency and through the Wye Valley AONB Sustainable Development Fund and is being developed in partnership with Herefordshire Council.

Work will begin at the Kerne Bridge launch in the week commencing Monday, 1st August followed by Ross-on-Wye in the week starting with the 15th August. There will be a couple of small works compounds at both sites.

Consequently each of the canoe launches will be closed for 3 to 4 weeks. The Public Open Space and Public Right of Way at Ross-on-Wye and the car park and picnic site at Kerne Bridge will all remain open for the duration of the works.

For more information contact Andrew Nixon, Wye Valley Development Officer on 01600 710841. Email:


Herefordshire Council's heritage services team is running two family workshops in Hereford during the summer holidays. The events, Printing Paper, are being held at the Museum Resource and Learning Centre, on Tuesday, 16th August. The first starts at 10am and the second at 11am.

Alexia Clark, Herefordshire Council's Visitor Services Officer, said 'This workshop is inspired by the exhibition of internationally acclaimed artist John Piper which is currently on display in Hereford's art gallery. Piper often collaborated with other artists and craftspeople and used it to great success in media as diverse as ceramics, tapestries, textiles, stage design, mosaics, fireworks, print and stained glass. This workshop will allow youngsters to use similar techniques and make their own artworks inspired by Piper.'

For further details telephone 01432 260692. The cost is 1 per child.


Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman has been named as 'the 1.5 billion backbencher' by Conservative Home, the influential political web site The accolade came after publication last week of plans by the Government to save 1.5 billion on the Private Finance Initiative, in response to a year long campaign by Jesse. All of the proceeds will flow back to the schools, hospitals and other public services involved.

In the course of his campaign the Hereford MP:
- held an adjournment debate in the Commons last July to put this issue on the parliamentary agenda
- built a cross-party group of 86 MPs from all three major parties
- wrote op-ed pieces in the Financial Times, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian, with further coverage in the trade press and on BBC, C4 and Radio 4
- launched a web site to feature key stories and case studies, as well as a Twitter feed
- organized meetings with senior management at contractors covering 75% of PFI deals, to press them on the need for savings
- encouraged the Treasury Select Committee to launch an inquiry into PFI, to be published shortly
- held first full three-hour Commons debate on PFI in June
- met with the Chancellor and Financial Secretary, and the Cabinet Office.

Commenting on the news, Jesse said 'This is a great honour. We are making very good progress on savings within the PFI, and I am pushing for a full Code of Conduct signed by the PFI contractors by the end of 2011. This campaign started a year ago with my anger at the very poor deal we were getting on the PFI at Hereford Hospital. The goal now is to make sure the Hospital gets its fair share of these savings.'

The 1.5 billion backbencher: Jesse Norman MP.


Herefordshire's residents are being urged this summer to compost their garden waste and salad leftovers at home. The Lets Waste Less campaign is still offering compost bins for a little as 13 (including delivery), but now there is also the option of getting a second half price, which can work out at as little as 17 (also including delivery) for two 220-litre compost bins.

The compost bins are now also available in green and black on the scheme, with both being made out of recycled plastic. So far having a choice had proved hugely popular with around 60 per cent of residents opting for the new colour green. The public can view the full range of products online at, which include wormeries, bokashi systems, much larger compost bins and a wide range of accessories such as kitchen caddies for example, aimed at helping keep food waste tidy in the kitchen, before transferring to the compost bin in one trip.

Grass cuttings, hedge clippings, nettles and soft prunings can be added into a compost bin. More woody prunings such as thin branches are good to mix, but have the consequence of taking longer to break down so it is best to shred or chop these up first.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said 'With gardens at their most productive at this time of year, now is the perfect time to start composting and ensure all those grass cuttings and vegetable trimmings are added to compost bins. It is still important for residents to balance piles of green cuttings with "browns" such as scrunched up cardboard, newspaper and toilet rolls. This will ensure that in around about nine to twelve months time, nature will have turned the mix into lovely crumbly compost which can be used to help plants bloom ready for the spring planting season.'

For further information visit or alternatively call 01905 766883.


Herefordshire Council's community protection team has just completed a successful course in Ross about responsible dog ownership. Seven dog owners completed six-week sessions held on the grassed area at Wye Street which were run by dog warden Matt Faulds. People attending learnt the basics of dog handling and the importance of keeping their dogs under control as well as clearing up after them. All of the people attending the course received free poop bags and treats which were given as rewards to the dogs for improved behaviour.

Shane Hancock, Regulatory Services Manager for Herefordshire Council, said 'These sessions proved extremely popular and everyone was amazed by how much their dog's behaviour had improved and they also now better understand their responsibilities as an owner. The problem of dog fouling has often been raised by residents and we feel education is one of the best ways to tackle this so, as part of the six-week course, we also urged people to clear up after their dogs.'

Peter Hobbs with Molly and Smudge, John Binkett and Biggy, Fe Longstaffe and Tarquin, Lisa Wooding and Minnie, Frances Watkins and Micky, Katie Barrington with Murphy and Guiness, and Hilary Ferdyce with Fizz. in the Caroline Symonds Gardens in Wye Street.


Cross Keys Flood Action Group celebrated four years without internal flooding to local properties last weekend, Saturday, 23rd July. Following the nation-wide flooding of 20th July 2007 the group was formed to act on behalf of local people to help them in their fight against local flooding. The community-led plan for Withington, Westhide and Preston Wynne, in which Cross Keys is represented, has listed flood mitigation as one of 19 key strategic initiatives for the parishes over the next five years.

Thanks to a Defra grant of 148,200 for property level flood protection, a total of 22 properties in the Cross Keys vicinity have had property surveys undertaken and equipment installed and are now protected against future flood events. The various measures to protect individual homes were implemented by Amey on behalf of Herefordshire Council. During their day of celebration, villagers who had work carried out to protect their homes through the Defra grant were asked to make sure they knew how to fit and operate the measures for their own property and were also given a practical demonstration of some of the equipment.

Thanks to a donation to the action group from the National Flood Forum for paper-testing their flood action plan during Defra's Exercise Watermark in March 2011, a celebratory Barbecue was held at the local Cross Keys Pub on Saturday evening. People from 16 homes came along to enjoy the evening and the weather held good with not a drop of rain.


As part of Herefordshire Year in the Orchard, the county hosted the first national orchard event when more than 100 orchard professionals. Owners and enthusiasts from across the UK descended on the spectacular Homme House in Much Marcle to talk apple, pears and fruit trees. 'The Orchards - past, present & future' conference was the first national orchard event recognizing traditional orchards as a UK-wide biodiversity habitat with their own Habitat Action Plan.

The conference didn't only celebrate traditional orchards but also recognized the importance of commercial 'bush' orchards and the part that community orchard projects can play in conserving this country's orchard heritage. Speakers included the Traditional Orchard Inventory project, Colwall Orchard Group, London Orchard Project, Herefordshire Orchard Community Evaluation, Scrapbook of an Orchard as well as Natural England and the Bulmers Foundation orchard sustainability project. Delegates also had the chance to sample the best of Herefordshire's hospitality with locally sourced food and cider and perry tasting hosted by Westons Cider.

James Bisset, Herefordshire Council's principal countryside officer and one of the organizers said 'All the hard work by the organizers was greatly appreciated by the delegates who had come from all parts of England as well as Wales and Scotland for the conference. This day has really shown just how innovative Herefordshire is being towards conserving and celebrating its orchard heritage and I think several other counties may want to follow our lead and have their own Year in the Orchard type celebrations.'

The presentation and other information is now available to download from - look for National Orchard Habitat Conference page. This was just one of many and varied events taking place during 2011, helping celebrate Herefordshire's orchard heritage - Herefordshire Year in the Orchard. To find out more about future events and orchard initiatives please go to

Delegates at Homme House in Much Marcle.

3rd August 2011 HEPATITIS - ARE YOU NUMBER 12?

People in Herefordshire are being urged to think 'Am I number 12?' as part of World Hepatitis Awareness Day 2011. Safer Herefordshire, Wye Valley NHS Trust and Drug Advisory Service Herefordshire (DASH) have again joined together to mark World Hepatitis Awareness Day on Thursday, 28th July, with information and advice events at Asda and Sainsbury's in Hereford between 10am and 2pm.

One in twelve people world-wide are chronically infected with viral Hepatitis, but remain unaware as they display no symptoms. Hepatitis can affect anybody and is an infection caused by viruses which attack your liver. The main risk factors for catching Hepatitis include medical, dental or vaccination treatment abroad, if you received a blood transfusion before September 1991 and anyone who shares toothbrushes, razors or drug using paraphernalia.

If you feel you could be at risk and would like to be tested, pop along to your Doctor, Goal Street Sexual Health Clinic or local Drug Service Provider (DASH). The test is very quick and simple and involves giving a blood sample, with the results being available shortly afterwards. If you would like further information on Hepatitis, please pop along to one of the events and speak to our friendly teams. Alternatively, you can also contact Jo Spicer, Hereford County Hospital's Hepatitis Nurse Specialist on 01432 364167.


Herefordshire Council's Bikeability cycle training scheme has benefited a record number of 1,350 Year 6 and 7 pupils from Herefordshire this academic year. Pupils have received Bikeability Level 1 and 2 training from the council's team of 10 cycle trainers which includes world downhill mountain bike champion Tracy Moseley.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said 'It is really important that our youngsters can cycle safely and this training helps pupils learn how to control their bikes, assess traffic and even do simple maintenance. We like to encourage as many pupils as possible to cycle to school as it is not only good for their health and well being but also reduces traffic congestion at busy school times. It is fantastic that we have been able to train 1,350 youngsters this year and I hope this will see an increase in the number cycling to school.

Herefordshire Council also offers free adult cycling for adults and this may be of interest to mums and dads who want to join their children on the ride to work. We are aware some adults haven't cycled for a long time and may need their confidence boosted before they take to the roads again and the courses can be specifically designed to take into account their own routes to work.'

Part of the council's cycle training team, Justin Goult, James Creaser, Andy Palfreman, Roger Calow and John Lines.


Herefordshire Council's environmental health and trading standards service has got the go ahead to trial a night-time Noise Response Team to operate throughout the county during the summer. The team will comprise of two environmental health officers working as a pair after 9pm on both Friday and Saturday nights and will be financed by savings already made elsewhere within this service.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being, said 'I am really excited to see what impact this team will have on the lives of so many people who have to suffer sleep depriving noise at night time and getting totally stressed from it all. For the first time ever, Herefordshire Council will not only be able to respond to these pleas for help from the public when the night-time noise is actually happening, but will then be able to send officers to the scene to witness the noise and take the necessary steps to resolve the situation.

Although the environmental health officers will make every effort to remedy the situation informally, I would like to make the point that they will also be empowered to serve noise abatement notices on the night as and when necessary. In this way we hope that the team will not only offer a cost effective and improved service focused at what our public actually want and need, but that it will also help improve their health and well-being too.'

After the eight-week trial period, the service will be reviewed to see whether the council can continue to run a similar service next year. In the meantime, the Noise Response Team can be contacted on 01432 261761 after 9pm on both Friday and Saturday nights starting Friday, 29th July until the end of September.

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