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It would be good to see a Police Officer in High Town dur...

22 Jul 2014

Posted by Ubique in Police & Crime
Have been in the area of High Town , Hereford between 1100 and 1400 for the last two days - very busy with Parent / s with children , high number of families , holidaymakers etc .cyclists and motor vehicles wiz zing through after the 1030 closure ! All that's lacking is the visible presence of a Police Officer . There will always be a very good reason why but the sight of a Police Officer in uniform gives reassurance to the law abiding members of the public.

I am sure that a couple of posters will give good and valued reason why there are no Uniform Police Officers in High Town area but I will refer back to the last line of the previous paragraph.

  417 Views · 24 Replies ( Last reply by bobby47 )


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.

  2,444 Views · 37 Replies ( Last reply by Edna Welthorpe (Mrs) )


The Town Centre is Disgusting

20 Jan 2014

Posted by Biomech in Hereford City

More fool me, I went into town today.


Nothings changed, I need some ink for my printer, WHSmith was sold out, Cartridge World has moved to Holmer and the other places have closed. So I did the usual walk all over town looking for a basic product while being consistently hassled by the clipboard people* and finally picked up the very last 1 in Argos.


While in town hunting for such a simple item (do you know Tesco doesn't sell pastry/cake cutters/shapes at all?), I noticed bins full to the brim, some with nappies stuffed in the tops, cigarette (phag is censored?) buts EVERYWHERE outside Tesco/Cash Machines and Chadds.... the only words to describe what I saw there is "f*** me". There are (penises) drawn in the dirt on the unbelievably filthy windows and the door ways are FULL of pi*% and vomit.


Which basically brings me to ask - Does anyone EVER clean the streets?


While I often drive through between 2am-5am, I haven't pulled an all nighter for a long time. I know I haven't seen a street cleaner out for over 10 years.


If you can stomach it, I'd urge you all to just have a glance into the Chadds doorways next time you're in town.



* Something needs to be done about them. Why can't they stick to a plot like the Sky salesmen?

  2,534 Views · 65 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )


Baptist Church Drinkers ....

22 Feb 2014

Posted by Roger in Police & Crime

I wandered into town today and the usual drinkers' were camped on the wall swigging bottles/cans of that strong cider ..... In front of the Church ... Sat on the wall as the seats have been removed ..... I walked by an hour later and they were still there .... Commercial Road ... Not a good advert for Hereford .... 


This was approx. 13.45 and 14.45 btw so hardly out of hours for the people who should sort this out  ..... 

  4,071 Views · 123 Replies ( Last reply by Roger )



27 Feb 2014

Posted by bobby47 in Open Forum
Today, its my understanding that the head of Hoople has resigned. Yes, Mr Mike Dearing has thrown his hand in. How this ends up being dressed up, I've no idea but one thing is for sure, things are not going well for this private limited company that was created by the Council hierarchy.
If, as I hope, this is the beginning of the end for this entirely unsatisfactory commercial venture, I hope it begins the beginning of the new reality that this Council must face up to, grasp and act upon.
That is, they've got to stop haemorrhaging jobs and services to Hoople, they've got to stop funding the chaos that surrounds this company, and simply allow the Council to deal with these services directly instead of employing the middle man.
It's never profitable. It's never in our interests. It's not helpful to staff who don't know what's going on and it makes no commercial sense to fund this stupidity any longer.
I say, cut the cord. Cast Hoople adrift. Safeguard our much cherished public services and the jobs of the Council front line staff and lets return to a place where commonsense reigned and the Council and their employed staff delivered the things our society needs to prosper and recover from these past years of mismanagement of public funds, staff and our public services.

  3,215 Views · 93 Replies ( Last reply by flamboyant )


Barrs Court Special School

16 Jul 2014

Posted by gdj in Open Forum

This situation has been referred to in other threads but it seems to be reaching the end game.  I am not party to all the details and facts but I do know some - and I do know some that I shouldn't know.  



A council Assistant Director called Kathy Roberts left her post in 2011 with a large pay-off : the Hereford Times reported it as over £70k.  When she left the building she was under investigation for wrongdoing.


She took up the post of deputy head of Barrs Court a month later.  The head of Barrs court was known to be nearing retirement


In September 2013 she became head of Barrs Court.


In January 2014 she was suspended for alleged wrongdoing.


She has now "resigned".


Some questions:

- On how many occasions during her 2 years in the council were there serious grievances and/or compensation paid to those working under her?  

- Was Barrs Court aware of any of the above either in 2011 or 2013?

- Has the alleged wrongdoing at Barrs Court been the subject of a completed investigation - ?

-Has she been allowed to resign before being held accountable?

-Has a compromise agreement been signed?

-Has money been paid to her in relation to her resignation?

-If so, who has paid it?

- What role did the council (who wanted to keep the whole situation top secret) play in the last 6 months?

-Why is the Hereford Times joining the council in keeping it all secret?

- Would anyone at all, from the school, the council or the governors like to explain and justify this whole sorry saga of failure and wrongdoing being rewarded and hidden, and vulnerable children being shortchanged - I suspect not.


Whilst not comparable in detail to this situation, the principle of allowing people suspected of wrongdoing to quietly move on rather than being held accountable has led to some dreadful situations in this country.  Yet it still, seemingly, goes on.  And no amount of temporary social workers can cure a mindset that safeguards managers as a top priority.






  631 Views · 20 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )


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.

  1,713 Views · 42 Replies ( Last reply by Cambo )


What does Herefordshire hope to get out of The Marches LEP?

10 Feb 2014

Posted by megilleland in Open Forum
Local Enterprise Partnerships are locally-owned partnerships between local authorities and businesses. They play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.
Government has provided all LEPs with a notional allocation of funding from the 2014-2020 EU funding programme and asked LEPs to develop strategies to identify how they intend to spend their allocations.
Due to the way that the EU classifies areas, the Marches LEP allocation is split between Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin (£67million) and Herefordshire (£23million).

Have your say - Consultation launched on Marches SEP

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has published its draft Strategic Economic Plan, which demonstrates how through accelerated growth the region could see an extra 40,000 new jobs created and 72,000 new homes built.
The 100-page document details how the Marches has the capability to deliver houses and employment sites at speed with a dedicated investment fund. And it highlights the importance of having the freedom to unlock land for development and support for infrastructure projects if the Marches is to achieve its potential.
The private sector-led Board of the Marches LEP, which includes the Leaders of the local authorities of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, has approved the draft plan and is now inviting comments and feedback from organisations, businesses and communities across the region. 
Chairman of the Marches LEP, Graham Wynn OBE, said: “Our Strategic Economic Plan is an investment proposition. It says that with the right financial levers, investment by Whitehall and the private sector in our region, we can create prosperity and growth for the people who live and work here and the businesses which are based here.
“The plan is the result of extensive work and research, and now we are entering a period of consultation with stakeholders and the business community. This is a vital document, it is our bid to Government for a Marches Growth Deal.
“Our region is brimming with opportunity and this plan identifies the priorities which need addressing so that our region can deliver to its potential.”
The draft plan has received cross-county support from the Leaders of the three local authorities, with Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council key public sector partners which will be delivering the LEP's programme of work.
Councillor Tony Johnson, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “This Strategic Economic Plan is an aspiration for what we can achieve working in partnership with each other and with Government. The Hereford Enterprise Zone is the flagship delivery project of the Marches LEP, and alone has the potential to create thousands of jobs.”
Councillor Keith Barrow, Leader of Shropshire Council, said removing the barriers to growth would see rapid development and delivery of shovel-ready schemes.
“We want the business community, our stakeholders, to support the vision we have for the Marches, which is for a strong, diverse and enterprising business base. This draft plan sets out how we think that vision can be achieved – it is ambitious but we have the experience and the opportunity on our doorstop to get this done.”
Councillor Kuldip Sahota, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “We have worked in partnership across the three areas to develop a draft economic plan which demonstrates how we can build for the future, supporting businesses, creating jobs and building homes. We can demonstrate a track record in delivery with numerous current programmes under way, including the £250 million Southwater scheme in Telford.”
The Plan says growth is contingent on the creation of an investment fund; more freedom to unlock land for development; support for infrastructure projects, including transport programmes and having the flexibility to pool resources to address youth unemployment and skills as well as scope for supporting more higher and further education provision in the Marches.
The LEP also makes clear that investment in education and skills is a priority, highlighting the benefit to the region of Centres of Excellence such as Harper Adams University. The University recently opened its Agricultural Innovation Centre, part funded by the Marches LEP Development Fund, which will support the creation of more than 200 new jobs.
The Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) has now been published on the Marches LEP website and is available for download. Organisations are requested to reply with comments before 12 noon Friday 28 February 2014. 


Looks like the Marches LEP is going all out to get EU Investment - maybe because there is no money in the kitty here in Herefordshire. I thought Herefordshire Council was our local authority. I didn't realise decisions and policies would be made by an unelected quango operating out of Westminster and the EU. How do our councillors feel that this could be the beginning of the end for our local authority? I am surprised they are consulting local communities when there are only a few weeks in which to comment.


Draft Strategic Economic Plan


  1,325 Views · 25 Replies ( Last reply by megilleland )


Cannot Purchase Hot Food In Hereford City After 1.30am

09 Sep 2012

Posted by Colin James in Hereford City

How pathetic that you cannot buy hot food in Hereford after 1.30am!


This stupid idea of Hereford Council I assume is designed to prevent a build up of people coming out of nightclubs...well guess what? It does not work! Because now people que at the sandwich bar in Commercial Road or in the 24 hour garage.
So why can we not buy hot food? It's no wonder many people think the nightlife and everything else is so poor and choose to avoid Hereford altogether! This Council needs to have a rethink and get into the 21st Century!
Hereford is becoming like a ghost town both during the day and night!

I have written to the Hereford Times expressing my opinion and quite a lot of other locals too

  12,641 Views · 228 Replies ( Last reply by stupidfrustration )


How WELL do you know YOUR area?

21 Jul 2014

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?

  195 Views · 6 Replies ( Last reply by twowheelsgood )


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?

  9,088 Views · 47 Replies ( Last reply by Colin James )


Saxon Hall

22 Jul 2014

Posted by Colin James in Hinton

Summer Activities



  48 Views · 0 Replies


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...


  873 Views · 19 Replies ( Last reply by bobby47 )


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



  508 Views · 19 Replies ( Last reply by dippyhippy )


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.




You Can Sign The Petition HERE

  12,468 Views · 331 Replies ( Last reply by Denise Lloyd )

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