place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
|10th August 2011
BRITAIN IN BLOOM NEIGHBOURHOOD JUDGING
in Bloom judge, Angela Pendleton visited Ross-on-Wye recently
to assess the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' Campaign entries.
Angela began her tour at Ross Court, going on to the Tudorville
Allotments and ended it with a visit to the new Thomas Blake
Memorial Garden Project in Wye Street. All three entries
are very diverse and Angela told Ross-in-Bloom that not
only was it a delight to visit the town again, but to see
three completely different communities and their efforts
as ensuring the In Bloom Campaign keeps going.
again Ross Court had pulled out all the stops to show off
their gardens at their best. The residents and staff all
take part in gardening and this year the Brownies have also
been tending their own beds within the grounds. The gardens
were awash with Scarecrows made by the residents themselves
and round every corner you could see something different.
It all made for a very enjoyable and entertaining hour.
there, Angela moved on to the Tudorville Allotments. Again
this is very diverse as every plot is different. Soft fruit
and vegetables mix in with flowers and the grounds are kept
very tidy by the allotment holders. Angela was accompanied
by members themselves who could point out various aspects
of gardening that individuals use as well as conservation
and recycling matters that are used. Of course the taste
testing always goes down well.
the Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens Angela was able to see
the three stages of progress (finished, getting there and
haven't started yet!), being made by Ross-in-Bloom, the
residents of Wye Street and other volunteers who work regularly
on Sunday mornings to bring the gardens up to scratch as
part of this Jubilee Project. They are also part of the
volunteer force who visit when they can to litter pick and
keep the areas tidy. The youngest volunteers are Dylan,
aged 4 and his two older brothers, Jack and Archie of the
Guest House. They accompanied Angela around the garden
and she was very impressed with how they had helped the
group over the past few months to get them to the stage
they are today.
all three venues Angela was presented with a portfolio to
show how the work has progressed over the year (or since
the project began in January in the case of the Thomas Blake
Memorial Gardens) and she took these away with her to help
with her assessments. Angela was also able to offer advice
on how to continue with the work and improve on what had
been done to date. The decisions on how well each entry
has done will be announced in Solihull in September when
representatives from each entry will invited to attend a
prestigious awards ceremony.
Jack, Archie and Dylan have worked very hard, helping with the Thomas
Blake Memorial Gardens project.
CLOSES DESPITE COUNCIL'S EFFORTS
Herefordshire Council has made every effort to support the
trustees of The Chestnuts care home at Ross-on-Wye in a
bid to prevent it closing. The council was therefore 'disappointed'
when the trustees decided to close the home, but has been
working with them to ensure suitable ongoing care is found
for all the residents who have now left the home. Unfortunately,
despite offers of support over recent months, the council
has had to turn down the latest request from the trustees
to fund personal liabilities as this would have been an
inappropriate use of public money.
a nutshell, the council has:
the building to the trustees for a peppercorn rent for nearly
a generous offer which would have allowed the trustees to
lease the building from the council for a quarter of what
it could get if it charged the full commercial rent
tried to meet a series of demands from the trustees but
reached stalemate when the trustees demanded a new long
lease on a peppercorn rent for an unspecified period
would not be acceptable as the council would effectively
be subsidising the care home, distorting the market in Ross-on-Wye,
and financially propping up a private company with public
money,' said the leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor
John Jarvis. He added that the council was aware that financially
it would be difficult to bring the Chestnuts up to the standards
the Care Quality Commission would demand in a modern care
home. This, in addition to the changing face of care provision
in the UK - a move to provide care and support packages
to enable people to live independently at home - makes running
a care home like the Chestnuts in the traditional way it
has been run, very difficult.
desperately sorry with the trustees' decision to close The
Chestnuts, but genuinely believe we have done all we can
to help them,' added Councillor Jarvis. 'Their latest request
to the council to fund liabilities was not acceptable, nor
would it have been an appropriate use of public money. Our
priority has been firstly to ensure that the ongoing care
needs of residents are met, and then to support relatives
of residents and staff at the home.'
MP Jesse Norman has been in dialogue with Herefordshire
Council and with the trustees to help to support them through
this difficult time. Herefordshire Council can confirm it
is still in discussions with other care providers regarding
the future of The Chestnuts and is seeking to ensure that
if someone takes it on, that they provide the right kind
of care and support for the people of Ross-on-Wye and the
ROSS ROCKS 2012
The Ross Rocks! team got together for a meeting this week
to discuss their plans for 2012 and are planning a bigger
and better event for next year. The first Ross Rocks event
was a huge success and the team want to build on that to
give the town not one but two days of great entertainment
and fun for the whole family. A series of fund-raising events
is being planned to cover the huge cost of putting on such
an event and the team hope that you will support these to
help ensure that Ross Rocks is an even bigger success next
year. The plan is for the event to take place on Friday,
29th and Saturday, 30th June 2012.
of the fundraisers being organized is a raffle with some
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'
Cider & Perry Co of Broome Farm, Peterstow have donated
a Cider Talk, Tour and Tasting for up to eight people
Court Restaurant with Rooms have given a bottle of Heidsieck
& CO Gold Top Monopole Champagne 2004.
draw should have taken place at Ross Rocks in June but due
to circumstances beyond our control unfortunately it didn't
happen. However, I will be out and about with tickets so
if you would like to win one of these prizes, stop me and
buy one. Tickets are £5. The date of the draw will
be published as soon as it has been confirmed.
Ross Rocks team would like to thank all those who have donated
prizes and to all who sponsored the first of hopefully many
more Ross Rocks events. The photograph below was taken by
Caz Holbrook. Many more great photographs of the event can
be seen on her web site Caz
A scene from Ross Rocks, 25th June 2011. Photo by Caz Holbrook.
WELCOME NEW NOISE RESPONSE TEAM
Herefordshire residents are already responding well to the
council's new night-time Noise Response team which will
be operating throughout the county this summer. The idea
behind the new team is to ensure residents complaining of
unreasonable noisy parties or neighbours during the summer
have a dedicated number to call and environmental health
officers will be able to visit addresses and deal with the
problems there and then.
Willimont, Herefordshire Council's Regulatory Services Manager,
said 'With the long summer evenings, many people hold barbecues
and parties but sometimes these cause unacceptable noise
nuisance to their neighbours. Before this team was set up,
people would have to wait until after the weekend to report
such incidents but now we are able to respond when the nuisance
is actually happening. So far we have been able to stop
noisy parties by speaking to the people involved but the
environmental health officers will also have powers to serve
noise abatement notices if necessary. The
service has been well received by residents who have told
us it is a much welcomed service because noise can cause
such a blight to people's lives.'
Noise Response Team consists of two environmental health
officers operating throughout the county after 9pm over
the weekend nights until the middle of September. After
this trial period, the service will be reviewed to see if
it can continue the following year. Marc added: 'It will
be really interesting to see what impact this team has on
the lives of many people who would normally have to wait
and phone us on the Monday morning following a weekend of
noise which has prevented them from sleeping. We are aiming
for this service to be cost effective and also help us to
improve the health and wellbeing of many residents as well.'
Noise Response Team can be contacted on 01432 261761 after
9pm over the coming weekends including the Bank Holiday.
AT LAST THE EAGLE IS FLYING
When Andy and Maria Gooding took on The Eagle Inn in Broad
Street, Ross-on-Wye, they faced quite a challenge. The pub
had become very run down and had a troubled history
but since opening in April, the hard working couple and
their team have really made a difference. The whole place
is clean, there are flowers on the tables, there is great
food available, the upper floor restaurant will soon be
reopening, the toilets now have baby changing facilities
and children and dogs are welcome too.
just one week of opening many people began to see for themselves
what a difference was being made and The Eagle seems to
be going from strength to strength. The beer garden is a
very pleasant place to sit and enjoy a drink or some food
and the atmosphere is always friendly. The
Eagle is also a great place to hold a party, wedding reception
or any other celebration as there is a lovely, self contained
function room to the rear of the pub. Why not go along and
see for yourself. You will be very pleasantly surprised.
Eagle Inn is open from 11am until 11pm, Tuesday to Saturday,
then 12 Noon until 10:30pm on Sundays.
No longer a troubled pub, The Eagle Inn in Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye
is going from strength to strength.
Maria shares a joke with some of her customers.
The function room is a great place for a party. There is even room
for a bouncy castle.
JOIN IN THE HOPE & ANCHOR FUN DAY FOR ST MICHAELS
Regulars at the Hope
& Anchor Inn are keen supporters of St. Michael's
Hospice, a very important local charity which relies heavily
on public support to fund the care and support they freely
give to cancer sufferers and their families. In the last
issue of Wyenot News you may have read that Debbie's son,
Shane and his friends, Rod and Mark recently completed a
sponsored walk of Offa's Dyke, raising quite a sum for this
coming Sunday, 14th August a fun day will be taking place
at the Hope & Anchor and there will be lots of fun to
be had by all whilst raising even more money for the charity.
There will be face painting, bouncy castles and a gladiator
pit to keep children of all ages occupied and there will
also be a tombola stall, a cake stall, a table top quiz
and an auction with various, excellent lots to bid for.
will be a couple of trophies up for grabs too. Why not win
one of them by entering a team of four into the Tug of War
contest? The entrance fee is just £5 per team. Just
be sure to register before 2pm if you would like to enter.
Other trophy hunters will have already registered for the
Ross Pop Idol contest, where you will be able to see people
perform their own favourite tributes. In between acts there
will be the chance to exercise your own vocal chords with
the karaoke at 50p per go.
fun starts at 1pm and will go on all day long. Why not go
along on Sunday and do your bit for St. Michael's and have
a whole lot of fun in the process.
LAST CHANCE FOR BROOME FARM FESTIVAL TICKETS
Cider & Perry Co. Festival is almost upon us and
what a fantastic weekend is planned for 2nd, 3rd and 4th
September. The event will kick off at 7pm on the Friday
with a ceilidh, which is always a lot of fun. The music
will be provided by popular ceilidh band 'Porridge.' Hilary
and John Draper of Broome
Farm B&B will have some of their excellent food
available during the evening. Breakfasts are available on
Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8am until 10am.
12 Noon on the Saturday, you will get the chance to meet
the cider makers, when cider producers from Amazing Cider,
Blaengawney, Border, Greggs Pit, Gillow, Gwatkins, Marchers,
Old Grove, Ribble Valley, Seidre Dai, Swallowfields, Olivers,
Upper House and more will be there. Live music will be performed
from 2pm by Clementine Lovell, Tony Thompson, Jess Morgan,
Los Squideros, Will Killeen, Daniel and Jo and Tatterdemalion.
Hilary, John and their team will provide a selection of
excellent food from lunchtime. There will also be demonstrations
of apple pressing going on.
On Sunday, 4th the popular Farmers and Crafts market will
be open from 11am until 4pm with live music being provided
by Kidnap Alice and Hop Pickers Feast. The food theme on
Sunday will be sausages and cheese, which both go down very
well with cider. So, why not stay and enjoy sausage casserole,
sausage in a bun or a ploughmans with quality cheeses.
are still a few tickets available for the festival but hurry
as they will soon sell out. If you would like to go to this
fabulous event, email Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org
as soon as possible. (Tickets cost £25 plus £7.50 camping
view the three day photomotion and video of the 2010 festival,
please click here.
A scene of many people enjoying the 2010 festival.
MOTORISTS WARNED OF DELAYS
Herefordshire Council's contracting partner started work
on Monday to install a toucan crossing at Gorsley. The works
are scheduled to last ten weeks. All businesses are open
as usual and two-way traffic lights will be in operation.
Motorists are warned there may be delays due to the traffic
lights and should find alternative routes if possible.
SWEET SUCCESS AT TUDOR SWEETS
Since first opening Tudor
Sweets in High Street, proprietor, Daniel Pearce has
gone out of his way to accommodate the sweet preferences
all. The range of stock has increased massively and now
there is even a selection of Ross-on-Wye gifts available,
including Ross-on-Wye rock!. The Ross-on-Wye sweets come
in attractive tins and jars and make lovely presents for
a visitor to take back home as a souvenir. There are also
Ross-on-Wye biscuits and boxes of fudge available.
popular addition to the range of sweet goodies is 'Fiction
Jewellery'; bracelets, earrings and necklaces, all created
by Sally Fear using liquorice allsorts and Love Hearts etc.
The jewellery looks really good. Good enough to eat!
A small sample of some of the Ross-on-Wye gifts available at Tudor
A display of some of the Fiction Jewellery available at Tudor Sweets.
WORK CONTINUES AT THOMAS BLAKE MEMORIAL GARDEN
of the Blake Memorial Garden Workforce are eagerly awaiting
the results of how they got on last month in the Britain
in Bloom Campaign. The results will be announced in Solihull
on 8th September. The judges for 'Itís Your neighbourhood'
sounded very impressed with the work carried out so far,
so the team are looking forward to a good result. Like Ross-in-Bloom
this is a continuing project throughout the year, especially
as there will still be a lot of work needed there to get
it looking good for the Diamond Jubilee next Summer. It
is hoped that during the Jubilee Weekend Celebrations the
team will hold some sort of event in the gardens to help
with this memorable occasion.
to the continuing work there will be designated work parties
on Sundays as before. However anyone who wishes to can visit
between times and let either Mary Sinclair Powell or Caroline
Utting know how many hours they have worked there and when.
These hours go towards matched funding for grants etc.,
so are very important to log into the records. Just keep
a note of when you have worked and how long and pass it
work required at the moment is general maintenance and tidying
on a regular basis. If anyone has not worked there before
and would like to lend a hand please let Mary or Caroline
know and they will book you into the scheme of things (for
insurance purposes). Tools are available from members of
the team during designated working parties, but between
times volunteers will need to supply their own tools such
as brooms, trowels, secateurs, etc. However Mary is looking
into leaving litter pickers with one of the houses in Wye
Street as they are not something that is usually hanging
around a home garden shed.
next designated working parties are between 10.15am and
12.30pm on 14th and 28th August, 11th and 25th September
and 9th and 23rd October. Decisions on what needs to be
done for the winter will then be made and advertised in
the local press and websites. Ross-in-Bloom and the Blakeís
Project Team would like to thank everyone for their sterling
work to date and hope that it will continue for the future.
Further information can be found on the display boards in
the gardens themselves.
|10th August 2011
YOUTH RANGERS ARE GO IN THE WYE VALLEY
The natural landscape and ancient industrial past of the
Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is
to be explored by a group of young people in a innovative
two-year 'youth rangers' project made possible by a grant
of £23,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Managed
by the Wye Valley AONB Partnership, the project will recruit
15 young people aged 14-16 years and provide them with a
range of skills to enable understanding of their local environment.
in the Wye Valley AONB the young people will be involved
in a range of tasks at several local sites which include
the River Wye itself, Iron Age hill forts at Yat Rock and
Little Doward, a former iron and wireworks at the Angidy
Valley, and award-winning farms. The
young participants, working with the AONB partnership and
voluntary groups, will learn about biodiversity, conservation,
heritage and recreation and will undertake surveys of the
area's rich wildlife and habitats, explore land management
techniques, the navigation of the Wye and the development
of tourism, and will acquire skills including stonewalling,
hedge laying and woodcraft.
the project they will discover the techniques of putting
a Youth Ranger DVD together, with assistance from an online
TV company. This will be made aim to encourage teenagers
to take an interest in their heritage and the natural environment.
A celebration event will showcase their achievements in
a series of workshops run by the youth rangers. Anne
Jenkins, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, explained
'The engagement of young people is vital for the future
of environmental conservation. This project will introduce
them to a beautiful and fascinating area of both natural
and industrial heritage and also leave them with a range
of new skills.'
Valley AONB Project Leader, Sarah Sawyer was thrilled with
the new project: 'This is a fantastic opportunity to engage
young people in a meaningful way and enable them to become
future champions for their local countryside and heritage.'
you fancy a go at a bushcraft session, Sarah will be organising
one at the Monmouthshire show at the Countryside Matters
marquee on Thursday, 25th August.
youngsters who want to find out more about the Youth Rangers
Project a taster day has been arranged for Saturday, 15th
October where activities can be sampled. If you are interested
in this event and the Youth Rangers project then please
visit the Wye Valley AONB website, www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk
or contact Andrew Nixon on 01600 710841 or email@example.com
Some of the Youth Rangers Learning bush craft.
WANTED TO RAISE MONEY AND REDUCE WASTE
If you're having a clear out here's your chance to pass
on your unwanted items to raise money for charity and reduce
waste at the same time. Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire
County Council are working together with Hereford-based
charity Wye's Buys to help residents re-use their unwanted
bric-a-brac and clothing. Wye's
Buys - the trading arm of Newton Farm Community Association,
a registered charity in South Wye, Hereford - is looking
for good quality bric-a-brac. They would like items ranging
from clothing, footwear jewellery, bedding and curtains
to books, toys, DVDs, CDs and crockery. Rags for recycling
are also welcome - anything that is unsuitable for resale
is sent to a textile recycler.
can visit the shop and drop off items or pop in and browse
the selection of affordable, good quality used clothes.
Through carrying out their charitable work, Wye's Buys helps
the councils to divert waste away from landfill each year.
Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member
with responsibility for waste management said 'We are very
pleased to be working alongside Wye's Buys. The work that
they do to help the community is fantastic and the added
bonus is they help us to reduce the amount of waste that
ends up in landfill.'
Johnson, Chair of Wye's Buys, said 'Since we opened Wye's
Buys three years ago the community have commented on what
a useful service we provide them with. The income generated
has grown year on year, helping to fund our other community
based activities, which has in turn meant that Newton Farm
Community Association is heading towards self-sustainability.
can find out more by visiting www.letswasteless.com
you would like to donate items please bring them along to
Wye's Buys at 21/23 The Oval, Newton Farm, Hereford or call
01432 279116. The shop is open from 10am until 4pm, Monday
|10th August 2011
ARMY AND COUNCIL SERVE UP OFFA'S ACE
With the help of archaeologists from Herefordshire Council,
50 army officers from the 12th Mechanized Brigade have just
completed an imaginative three day exercise along Offa's
Dyke. Dubbed 'Exercise Offa's Ace,' the exercise used the
turbulent history of the Welsh borders to give a fresh perspective
on some of the complex issues and challenges the Brigade
could face in any future deployment to Afghanistan.
we now think of the Welsh border area as an idyllic and
tranquil rural landscape, the many surviving ancient fortifications
such as prehistoric hill forts, medieval castles, and the
massive 1200 year old bank and ditch of Offa's Dyke speak
of a complicated and troubled past which has much relevance
to the modern situation in Afghanistan,' said Ian Batty,
Herefordshire Council's Senior Project Archaeologist.
the guidance of Ian, Chris Atkinson (Herefordshire Council's
Community Archaeologist), the Zurich University historian
Max Lieberman and the Cambridge University historian Andrew
Spencer, the officers walked some of the best preserved
sections of Offa's Dyke, and explored how community relationships,
ideas of national identity and patterns of conflict had
played out at different periods in the past. 'This
has been a really interesting and instructive exercise,'
said Major Simon Childs, of the 12th Mechanized Brigade,
'the historical example of the Welsh borders cannot, of
course, be simplistically transferred to Afghanistan, but
the themes we have examined here with the archaeologists
and historians certainly will help to focus our work to
promote more stable patterns of local political and community
Bapty added 'We were delighted to be approached by the army
to assist with Offa's Ace. It has been extremely rewarding
to spend time with such dedicated professionals and thoroughly
nice people, and to support, at least in some degree, the
incredible and difficult work that they do. The officers'
military expertise has also suggested significant new ideas
about how a structure like Offa's Dyke might once have operated,
and that insight is really exciting for me as an archaeologist.'
Justin Maciejewski DSO MBE Commander 12th Mechanized Brigade,
said 'Offa's Ace has been an innovative way to build new
understanding of the issues we face in Afghanistan, and
it has been very positive for us to work with the specialists
from Herefordshire Council and Cambridge University to help
achieve that. It has also been a very good experience for
my officers to visit this beautiful area and to receive
such a warm welcome from local people.'
Officers are briefed during Exercise Offa's Ace.
|10th August 2011
TO GET STRONGER VOICE IN HEREFORDSHIRE
A new, independent health and social care watchdog is to
be launched in Herefordshire as part of a national drive
to make the NHS more accountable to patients. Called HealthWatch,
it will be run by volunteers who will monitor and scrutinise
health and social care services in Herefordshire, champion
people's views and provide an independent advocacy service
to help people who wish to complain about services. Herefordshire
HealthWatch has just been awarded relatively unique Pathfinder
Status to enable the county to pilot this new government
initiative aimed at placing patients and public at the heart
of the NHS.
Lloyd, Herefordshire's HealthWatch Lead, welcomed the news:
'The voice of the people is vital in enhancing local health
and social care services. HealthWatch will work on their
behalf, making sure people and patients know their rights
and can enjoy the best possible services.' He expressed
his appreciation for the assistance received in completing
the application for Pathfinder Status from representatives
of Herefordshire Council and Herefordshire Patient Advice
and Liaison Service and added that he ready to grasp the
challenge with enthusiasm.
Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing,
said 'Health and wellbeing is everybody's responsibility
- whether it is sharing views about how services could be
improved, or looking after our own health. We want to create
effective services, influenced and designed by local people
and healthcare experts which meet the needs of patients
in Herefordshire. HealthWatch will be a key partner to help
us achieve that.'
will work with all the stakeholders in the county's health
and social care, and is set to play a vital role in bringing
patient voices to the fore as new services are designed
|10th August 2011
RESIDENTS CAN GET GRANTS FOR RENEWABLES
Herefordshire Council is backing a government scheme which
offers money to Herefordshire householders so they can invest
in renewable heating technologies such as solar thermal
panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers. The Renewable Heat
Premium Payments scheme has been launched by the Department
of Energy & Climate Change which offers one-off payments
to householders. It is planned to expand the scheme next
year when the Green Deal will come into effect.
Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for
Environment, Housing and Planning, said 'It is important
that people considering installing these technologies know
grants are available and apply for them. The government
will be using this scheme to gauge public opinion and also
see which technologies perform best. The scheme offers various
payments to households in order to assist with the capital
cost of installing such technologies and greater payments
are available for households that are not connected to the
gas mains, which is particularly relevant in Herefordshire.'
can apply for the grants now by calling 0800 512012 or by
logging onto www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
only condition of the scheme is that homes must have basic
energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation and cavity
wall insulation installed. Councillor Wilcox added
'We are currently supporting Domestic & General Insulation
Ltd who are offering free loft or cavity wall insulation
to all county households so if anyone wants to take advantage
of this offer I would urge them to call 01432 377050 as
soon as possible.'