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How WELL do you know YOUR area?

Yesterday

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum
In The Guardian today:
 
 
Seven questions that will tell you how well you know your local area
 
This interactive quiz by the data visualisation centre at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) tests your demographic knowledge about where you live. Pop in your postcode and answer the questions to see if you're a local expert - you might be surprised by what you find out.
 
Who made this? The ONS Data Visualisation Centre
 
My local knowledge rating of Belmont 59%
Not bad, but room for improvement
 
I wonder how well our councillors would do?

  74 Views · 4 Replies ( Last reply by Roger )

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It's Been So Long Since Herefordshire Council Cut The...

19 Jul 2014

Posted by Colin James in Open Forum

It's been so long since Herefordshire Council (Balfour Beatty) cut the grass it's even began to grow under the feet of the Hereford Bull in high town.

 

Hereford Bull.jpg

 

#cutgrasshfd

  395 Views · 18 Replies ( Last reply by ragwert )

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Should I pay a private parking ticket?

17 Feb 2013

Posted by H.Wilson in Hinton

I was parked in the Welsh Club car park for no more than about 10 minutes early this morning, while I dropped off my son to play football on the meadows, when I got back there was a guy putting a ticket on my car. I have been told by a friend now that I should not pay it because it is not a penalty, can anyone else through any light on this please?

  8,843 Views · 45 Replies ( Last reply by Colin James )

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Petition: Reverse Decision To Reduce Grass Cutting

22 May 2014

Posted by Colin James in Open Forum

I have been asked by several people if I would create a petition about the lack of grass/verge cutting in the County due to severe cut backs in Herefordshire Councils budget. 

 

We the undersigned want Herefordshire Council to REVERSE it's decision to reduce grass cutting frequencies from 7 times a year to just 3 times a year in this years budget. This is a massive reduction of almost 60%!! Yet Herefordshire Council has  increased the Council Tax by almost 2%.
 
The Old Market shopping centre has recently opened at a cost of over £90 million, which will hopefully attract more people to Hereford and grow our local economy, however, Hereford looks a mess, all the grass and verges are overgrown and this will lead to treble the amount of work required when they eventually get around to it, which is false economy. 
 
This online petition has been launched in a bid to persuade Herefordshire Council to reverse the decision and restore Hereford back to a more attractive standard.
Why is this important?
 
We believe that this is a necessary course of action in order to attract investment and economic benefit back to Hereford.
The state of our Herefordshire also discourages potential investors and tourism alike from visiting the County, this is potentially an economic disaster for Hereford.

 

#cutgrasshfd

 

You Can Sign The Petition HERE

  12,360 Views · 331 Replies ( Last reply by Denise Lloyd )

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Cllr Jim Kenyon Q&A Balfour Beattie Contract

09 Mar 2014

Posted by Colin James in Open Forum

Jim asked me if I would post the responses to his questions. 

 

these are some answers to my questions I asked of the council contract managers of the  Belfour Beatty contract.
Cheers Jim  

 

Cllr Kenyon Contract Management queries

 

1.Strategic partnering board "who sits on it"? No cllrs

This detail is in the contract data

Director EEC (Geoff Hughes)

Assistant Director PBC (Richard Ball)

The Service Manager (Clive Hall)

No Cllrs sit on the board, as the management of the contract is not a political function.

 

2.Need site of the annual plan for this year

A presentation to members is planned, also a report to Cabinet member / director re internal governance

There is no annual plan for this year (2013-14); due to the contract starting part-way through the year. The plan is being developed for the future in accordance with the contract.

 

3.Clause 31 ten year extension seems stacked in Balfour Beatty favour who sets the performance acceptability and can that be adjusted during the length of the contract.

These clauses allow for a ‘rolling extension’ to be awarded in return for continued acceptable performance. They are designed to keep the provider incentivised throughout the contract term, as opposed to ‘winning all extension in one chunk’. The term can be reduced in performance not maintained. The Employer also has options to reward more, and might do so to:

  • Give time to re-procure;
  • In return for an investment (fleet, roads);
  • Some other reason that is not foreseen at this time.

4.So far have there been any dispute's with Balfour Beatty and if so how many and what cost.

No disputes, but early warning and compensation events have/are being processed.

To date 16 Early Warnings and 22 Compensation Events have been raised by both parties.

Of these, 11 Early Warnings have been closed, or are in the process of closure at a value of £40,163, which is made up of increased costs for commissioned design and build works, and 5 remain live.

Of the 22 Compensation Events, 3 have been cancelled, 10 have been accepted and closed, at a valuie of £182,480 and 9 remain live.

 

5.Direct fee % is 9.83% Sub-contracted fee is 9.83% unless open book 25% less or less £10,000 or less spent in one year net of vat (my info) Management agent  fee 2.60% (my info)

The fee is 9.83% the application of this through the various payment mechanisms should be understood. The payment mechanisms are, lump sum (a tendered price, adjusted for the following years, in each year’s annual plan), target cost (pain/gain share, this incentivises improvement), Cost reimbursable (the cost +fee). With Lump sum the risk transfers to the Provider, but the Employer will pay for the risk in the lump sum. With target cost the risk is shared, this is a healthy partnership approach. In cost reimbursable the risk is retained by the Employer, this works well for ‘events’ that are difficult to quantify prior to them happening, such as the response to severe weather.

 

6.What is enhanced third party margin 0% up to £25,000 then  50%

A way of HC benefiting in enhanced third party work (work for other clients) and the way that this will spread their business overheads.

 

7."Good industry practice" how do we bench mark against who?

There are various benchmarks, nationally, regionally and locally. Some to be developed further, for example with other BBLP contracts.

For example there is on-going benchmarking using the National Highways and Transportation annual survey (approx. 75 LAs) and participating in their CQC (cost, quality, customers) pilot.

Aligning performance measures with other BBLP contracts will enable us to compare.

 

8.Performance Indicators "Need to See" agreed list (seen)

Note strategic and operational indicators, purpose of each and the fact that these are not the only measures used in the delivery of service.

Strategic measures are used to help determine future contract extension. First measurement period 2014/15 – 2015/16.

Operational measures are used to determine payment of 25% of their fee percentage each month.

Other performance measures are being developed by BBLP using their asset management system (Confirm) which is accessible to the Contract Management Team.

 

9.Recognised sub-contractors where is the list and how do local business's get on that list.

Sub-contractors used by the previous provider formed the basis of the BBLP list; further suppliers have been added to the list since the 1st September. BBLP have consulted the Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce on the potential of the local supply chain and will also be holding a supplier open day in March. 

Subcontractors are required to go through a stringent vetting process before they can be engaged on the Herefordshire Contract and BBLP are actively providing assistance to some of the smaller subcontractors to get through this process. The Councils Contract management have full visibility of BBLP approved sub-contractor list.

 

10.With new and existing  staff what responsibility would Herefordshire council have regarding pensions etc

TUPE applies to transferring employees, see schedule 7 for detail . This is a complex area. BBLP have admitted body status, but broadly comparable pension schemes can be provided. Note pension fund shortfalls on termination fall to the Employer; this is equitable way of dealing with this risk.

  2,234 Views · 34 Replies ( Last reply by flamboyant )

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When is a Director of Law not a Director of Law?

16 Jul 2014

Posted by flamboyant in Open Forum

When is a Director of Law not a Director of Law? When he's on a suspension...


http://johnbrace.com...-fernbank-farm/

  691 Views · 13 Replies ( Last reply by level80 )

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Oval Post Office late evening and Sunday opening

20 Jul 2014

Posted by megilleland in Newton Farm
New service hours by the Post Office. Opening later each day and on Sunday.
 
The Oval
7 The Oval
Belmont Road
Hereford HR2 7HG
 
Opening times 
Mon 08:00 - 18:00
Tue 08:00 - 18:00
Wed 08:00 - 18:00
Thu 08:00 - 18:00
Fri 08:00 - 18:00
Sat 08:00 - 18:00
Sun 09:00 - 12:00

  92 Views · 3 Replies ( Last reply by Paul Jones )

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Herefordshire Council has created a new £90,000 a year role

27 Jun 2014

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum
Hereford Times News: Friday 27th June 2014 by Bill Tanner

 
HEREFORDSHIRE Council has created a new £90,000 a year role and extended the interim contracts of two top bosses – one of which is worth £147,000 a year.
 
That new role revises the grading and job title of solicitor to the council to Assistant Director, Governance.
 
The council says the post and its £90,000 salary reflects changes in the role and its responsibilities.
 
Chief finance officer Peter Robinson and Director of Adults Well-Being Helen Coombes have had their interim contracts with the council extended to September next year. All three changes have been backed by the council’s employment panel.
 
The panel was told that the changes were necessary to “ensure continuing effective leadership” of a large  proportion of the council’s key services undergoing significant change.
 
In 12 -15 months’ time the  council expects to be on “firmer foundations” with many of the ongoing changes  delivered, the panel heard.
 
This, the panel heard, was likely to “clarify” the roles in future and ensure that the  posts are attractive – with greater stability – to “high calibre” internal and external candidates in future.
 
The council’s former finance boss left in September last to be replaced, as an interim appointment, by Peter Robinson, formerly director of finance for Bristol City Council.
 
The budget situation Mr Robinson inherited was described as “difficult and challenging” with the council having overspent in its previous financial year and forecasting a £4.5m overspend in 2013/14.
 
External auditor, Grant Thornton had rated the authority as “red” over its reserves.
 
Subsequently, the council has agreed a three year financial plan to deliver significant savings and replenish its reserves. It has also spent within its budget for 2013/14.
 
Mr Robinson has also led on negotiations with Defra in securing  agreement for the Waste PFI contract with Worcestershire, re-structured the council’s finance and re-procured the internal audit contract.
 
Recently, he took on responsibility for ICT strategy and the management and client role for the ICT element of the council’s contract with Hoople.
 
Mr Robinson is contracted through a management service provider called NEPRO.  The contract for these services equates to £147,000 a year including on costs such as employers national insurance contributions and pension - on costs for council employees are in the region of 30%.
 
The contract does not cover sickness or leave. NEPRO charge 1% of the contract cost, which is approximately £1,500 per year.
 
Helen Coombes was appointed to her interim role in July last year to stay in post until mid 2014. She stays on to see Adults Well-Being through major social care service changes. Her total remuneration is £108k compared to a full time equivalent of £120k.
 
The role of solicitor to the council, currently held by Bill Norman, has, over the past six months, taken on a range of additional responsibilities, most recently HR and organisation development management.
 
Re-grading to Assistant Director level is said by the council to recognise the additional responsibilities.
 
Additional costs for the  Chief Financial Officer, approximately £30k - £15k in both 2014/15 and 2015/16  - include ongoing payments to the managed service provider, although a significant discount has been agreed for these and for a four day A week consultancy element of the contract with NEPRO.
 
The council says the additional  cost can be managed from additional savings achieved in  the 2014/15 budget.
 
The costs of continuing the current arrangements for the Director of Adults Well-Being are within the approved budget of a permanent Director post.
 
Additional costs associated with the re-grading of the Assistant Director, Governance - including on-costs - is £13k a year with these costs met by deleting the Head of Governance post.
 
In July last year, the council confirmed changes to its senior management structure that were expected to save nearly £200k.

 

 

So that's where the grass cutting savings went. Amazing that when the staff at the lower levels are "transformed" they get to lose their jobs and forgo pay rises, whereas those bringers of change at the top shovel more of our money into their pockets and put PFI payments into their friends companies offshore. No wonder they want UK Column off the air.

  1,253 Views · 40 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )

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Hereford Civic Society Meeting

07 May 2014

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum
HEREFORDSHIRE’S RIVER BRIDGES
 
Thursday 15th May, Kindle Centre, (by Asda)
7 pm for 7.30 pm start. 
 
John Faulkner will give an illustrated lecture on this popular subject from the perspective of a local Civil Engineer.  
 
But the day before .... if you are interested or concerned about the building of a new fire station on the site of the former Working Boys Home on Bath Street, The Fire Service is showing off  its new fire station plans next Wednesday 14th May 2.00 - 8.00 pm at the Fire Station on St Owen Street - enter via Daws Road.  
 
More info on page 22 in last weeks Hereford Times or contact consultation@hwfire.org.uk or call 0845 122 4454
 
Everyone is welcome to HCS events, so please forward this to friends and colleagues.
Members enjoy free admission to talks, visitors £3 each, refunded if you join HCS on the night.
If anyone is interested in contributing  to the running of Hereford Civic Society, contact  John Bothamley on john@johnbothamley.co.uk  or 01981580002.

  388 Views · 1 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )

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Westfields Post Office late evening and Sunday opening

20 Jul 2014

Posted by megilleland in Moor Farm
New service hours by the Post Office. Opening later each day and on Sunday.
 
Westfields
90 Grandstand Road
Westfields
Hereford HR4 9PQ
 
Opening times
Mon 06:00 - 23:00 
Tue 06:00 - 23:00 
Wed 06:00 - 23:00 
Thu 06:00 - 23:00 
Fri 06:00 - 23:00 
Sat 06:00 - 23:00 
Sun 06:00 - 23:00

  67 Views · 1 Replies ( Last reply by Colin James )

  202 Views · 5 Replies ( Last reply by Biomech )

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Fraudulent banks, utility companies and corrupt courts

11 Jun 2014

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum
Support For Guy Taylor Needed
 
On today's UK Column News - https://www.youtube....h?v=n1v_ntEj7qs - Guy Taylor gave an update on his continuing battle with fraudulent banks, utility companies and corrupt courts.
 
To give a little background, Guy's fight began when a Barclays Bank manager allegedly created a fraudulent loan in Guy's name using a forged signature. Details of this can be seen in an episode of our documentary series Insight which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube....h?v=ehklozL6b90
 
Recently events came to a head when Guy had Bodenham Manor, a property bought by his father for cash and for which there is no outstanding debt, stolen from him when bailiffs, supported by 50 or more police evicted him and his tenants from the property. 
 
Guy has demonstrated that all this has happened on the basis of fraudulent documents, and as he showed on the UK Column News today, he has confirmation from the court where the latest documents were apparently issued from that they did not issue them and no hearing took place there.
 
Now they are attempting to steal his own home, on which, again, there is no outstanding debt.
 
So we are asking everyone who can possibly do it to come to Guy's home on Tuesday to support Guy in his efforts to see off this unlawful intimidation. We need as many people on site as possible equipped with cameras, video cameras and notebooks to record events as they happen. 
 
The eviction is due to start at 11am on Tuesday the 17th June 2014 at Pear Tree Farm, Carey, Hereford HR2 6NG.
 
We hope to see you there, but whether you can get there or not, please pass this to as many people as possible, and keep an eye on our lunchtime news programmes for updates.

  1,532 Views · 33 Replies ( Last reply by Ubique )

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The New University - Herefordshire

08 Mar 2014

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum

Since the article in The Hereford Timesalerting citizens that Herefordshire Council has overwhelmingly backed the principle of passing its offices and other estate on to the county’s university project, I have discovered the New University - Herefordshire website which provides further interesting information.

 

The groundbreaking motion went through with just one abstention and no votes against at full council this morning (Friday). Support for the motion means fundraising for the project can begin in earnest.

 

STRUCTURE & GOVERNANCE

The New University-Herefordshire is being conceived as a not-for-profit institution, with mixed funding, and operating with input from The John Lewis Partnership model. The assets and endowments of the university will be held in trust by The Herefordshire Tertiary Education Trust.

 
A working Development Team has been in place since late 2012, and is comprised of local business people and educators.
 
The Trust Board of Trustees will initially be comprised of nationally and internationally recognised educators and business leaders drawn from Herefordshire and from around the world. This group will have a 2-3 year mandate to design and fund the university and identify and retain the initial executive leadership team.
 
With seed financing of £3-4 million and an additional £10-13 million to open the university in 2017, the Board will be tasked over succeeding years with securing an additional £50-£75 million in financing; integrating resources from personal and corporate philanthropy, the social capital market, private investment, UK & EU Government funding, public sector asset transfers, and industry sponsorships.
 
The New University will be working in close collaboration with Herefordshire College of Arts, Hereford & Ludlow College, and the Royal National College for the Blind to ensure that Herefordshire is recognized as a national centre of excellence in education.

 

My first thought - money no object. Where did the seed finance come from? Not the council I hope as they will have to have parking meters along all the roads of Herefordshire to bring in any money to support this. Can any councillors explain as they all voted for this worthy cause, except one who abstained.

 

Noticed that the Blackfriars building used by the council has been vacated and fenced off completely. Did someone mention that the Robert Owen school was to be given the building?

  2,016 Views · 41 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )

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110 homes on land off Hampton Dene Road

12 Jun 2014

Posted by megilleland in Planning
 
DEVELOPERS seeking to build a large-scale housing complex in Hereford have revised their scheme.
 
Gladman Developments had initially wanted to site 120 homes on land off Hampton Dene Road.
 
But, as reported by the Hereford Times, the application only came before Herefordshire Council's planning committee in April, resulting in Gladman making an appeal on non-determination grounds.
 
The appeal will be heard at a planning inquiry in September.
 
In the meantime, the firm has re-submitted an application in order to alleviate concerns raised by some councillors in relation to the effect the scheme would have on the local landscape.
 
The proposal has been scaled back to 110 homes, while a Section 106 agreement will be provided for the playing fields.
 
A "dense landscape buffer" will also be on the northern edge of the site and the drainage strategy updated.
 

  468 Views · 11 Replies ( Last reply by Bambi )

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HEREFORD UNITED your local club

28 Mar 2014

Posted by silent bull in Open Forum

I'm a massive Hereford supporter, have been for a long long time but how many 'locals' have been to watch your 'professional' club??

 

HUFC.png

It's heart breaking to think that the last few home games maybe the last that will be played at Edgar street.
I'm not going to bore you with the details because I'm guessing you've all read about what's going on already but to be frank its the same old story with a small club
Club gets taken over
New owners promise the world
New directors overspend
Bad management
Bad leadership
Supporters lose patient's
Now there's quite a lot going on to try and SAVE HEREFORD UNITED to raising money to a March through the city centre starting from the 'Victory' pub
'Yes' its not much (or not enough) but we CAN'T GIVE UP! !!
But the one thing that 'will help' is to get as much bodies through the turnstiles so please PLEASE for these last few games TURN UP BUY A PROGRAMME BUY A PIE even TRY THE SPICY SOUP! !
DONT LET THE CLUB DIE BECAUSE OF A FEW - SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CLUB! !!

  6,067 Views · 132 Replies ( Last reply by Roger )


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