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    What's going to happen after Coronavirus?

    By megilleland,

    What's going to happen after Coronavirus

    Where are we going when Coronavirus fades away and the government has run its course in keeping us at home.The sheer economic disaster coming and affecting everyone is already being discussed by some MPs. One remedy is to impose a one off wealth tax. The idea is that everyone – households and businesses, rich and poor – has to pay a sum equivalent to a chunk of their net assets. This would reverse taxation regimes across the world which tax income far more than the taxation of wealth.

    Ed Conway, the economics editor at Sky News, writing in the Times, roughly calculates that a one-off 10 percent levy on all household net wealth in the UK would generate over £1 trillion ($1.24 trillion) of revenues. That would be enough to pay off all the costs of Covid-19. It would provide for the NHS for generations and reduce the national debt from wartime levels to something more like normality. 

    The government reduction plans for local authority council funding on the basis that the shortfall can be made up with councils keeping the collection of business rates now looks a dead duck.

    The desire to give us all an identity card accompanied with a vaccination certificate looks pretty certain. Get ready for all citizens to be given a free smartphone and be fined if not carried on one's person at all times to enable tracking at all times.

    This quote says it all:

    “The telephone was not his favorite object, and more than once he had considered getting rid of his. What he disliked most of all was its tyranny. Not only did it have the power to interrupt him against his will, but inevitably he would give in to its command.”
    ― Paul Auster, City of Glass

    The Pavilion, Castle Green Hereford Rejuvenation Project

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Our Friends of Castle Green and Hereford LIVE camera hosts have announced that they have appointed local architect Oliver Steels of Errand Studio to work alongside the board in the next steps towards rejuvinating The Pavilion, Castle Green as part of the StrongerHereford Town project.


    As a local, Oliver has a good understanding of the needs of the community in redeveloping the building and has some fantastic ideas that will help FoCG to achieve its vision of transforming the historic Pavilion building to create a modern, accessible space and iconic riverside visitor attraction in the heart of Hereford.

    Our Friends of Castle Green are very much looking forward to working with Oliver over the coming months. Keep an eye out for updates on the plans!

    Another gem of a photograph from our friend Jon Simpson

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,


    Jon wrote

    "An illuminated variation on the Elgar view of #HerefordCathedral in #Hereford, #Herefordshire. I'll have to revisit this sometime as I'm sure I can improve on my light steering effortsElectric light bulb"

    Green Party Alarm at Government Threats to the Right to Protest

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Green Party activists and county councillors staged a small protest in Hereford on Saturday against the government’s imminent Policing Bill.

    Green Party activists in Herefordshire argue that protest won women the right to vote and urged people to ensure their civil liberties are upheld.

    The bill, threatening draconian measures to make protest a criminal offence, is at a crucial stage. Ellie Chowns, leader of the council’s Greens said: ‘This bill is a threat to basic civil liberties right at a time when we need to hold government to account over so many issues. Our democratic right to protest is being eroded.’

    ‘There is a danger we will wake from our trance over ‘party-gate’, and other pantomimes, to find we have lost many of the liberties we take for granted. This legislation has become worse following a series of amendments that have been slipped into the bill at a late stage - without proper scrutiny or debate. We cannot allow that. Please contact your MP about it, this weekend.’

    Baroness Jenny Jones formerly of Weobley, and chair of Herefordshire’s Green Party in the late 1990’s said: ‘The government sidestepped the Commons by introducing 18 pages of draconian laws as amendments in the Lords, but if peers vote against them they cannot be reinserted.’ Baroness Jones urged people to contact their MPs and members of the House of Lords immediately to ensure that they voted against the amendments to stop, outright, some of the worst measures of the Policing Bill.

    Details https://bit.ly/321DAbI

    Over £4 million in grants available for hard-hit businesses

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The start of the new year brings some welcome news for Herefordshire’s hard-hit hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses. The government has set aside funding to help them recover from the adverse effects of restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19.


    As part of the government’s £785m Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant package to help UK businesses, the council will manage the county’s allocation of £3,996,378. This means eligible businesses within the county can apply for a one-off grant up to £6,000. The funding is available immediately to support businesses in urgent need.

    The scheme is open for applications until 28 February 2022 and all payments under this and existing schemes will be completed by 31 March 2022.

    Government has also confirmed the county will receive an additional £440,262 ‘top up’ to the additional restriction grant allocation (ARG). These funds will provide up to £3,000 of support to smaller hospitality and leisure businesses without a rateable value, and to supply chain businesses that have also been affected.

    Cllr Ellie Chowns, cabinet member for environment, economy and skills, says:

    “Many hospitality and leisure businesses have been seriously affected by the recent rise of Omicron, as people minimised their social contact over the Christmas period - a time of year when seasonal businesses would normally generate a large part of their income.

    “And of course this has come on top of nearly two years of Covid-related disruption.

    “So, I am very pleased that this new grant is now available to help businesses in the worst-affected sectors. I am sure it will provide much-needed assistance and Herefordshire Council is pulling out all the stops once again to get the funding out to businesses as quickly as possible.

    “As we have been provided with a limited amount of funding, we aim to distribute it as widely and as fairly as possible to those that need it most.”


    Wondering what happened to the Bell from St Francis of Assisi in Goodrich Grove?

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    This bell was cast, in 1470, by Robert Handley of Gloucester.


    It has been in the care of Herefordshire Museum Service since 2012 after the demolition of St. Francis of Assisi church. It is finally returning to their original home St. Michael church, Dewsall, near the Callow.


    Plans announced for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    There will be year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world as communities come together to celebrate The Queen’s historic reign.


    On 6th February this year Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

    To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June. The bank holiday will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone.


    The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

    In addition, initiatives including The Queen’s Green Canopy and the Platinum Pudding competition will create a lasting reminder of The Queen’s Jubilee, while The Queen’s private estates will also join in with special Jubilee themed events offering more opportunities for members of the public to celebrate the historic milestone.

    The Platinum Pudding competition

    To mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee a nationwide baking competition sets out to find a brand new pudding dedicated to The Queen. The Big Jubilee Lunch and Fortnum & Mason are inviting applications from UK residents aged 8 and over to create the perfect Platinum Pudding recipe.

    Five finalists will prepare their pudding for an expert judging panel including Dame Mary Berry, Monica Galetti and Buckingham Palace Head Chef Mark Flanagan. The winning recipe will be made available to the public and the pudding will be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches during the Jubilee weekend, and by generations to come.

    Thursday 2nd June

    The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour): Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June. 

    Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, joined by Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

    Tickets for this incredible spectacular are available to the public and applications for the ballot are open until the end of February. Please visit qbp.army.mod.uk from the week commencing 17 January 2022 to apply.

    Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will be continued to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

    For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

    The Principal beacon will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

    Friday 3rd June

    Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Further events will be announced in due course.

    Saturday 4th June

    The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.

    Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven decade reign. Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event and details of the ballot for UK residents to secure audience tickets will be released in February. 

    Sunday 5th June

    The Big Jubilee Lunch: Every year since the idea began in 2009 The Big Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship. In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community. 

    People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small - street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque. The Big Lunch provides tips and ideas for hosting an event. Over 1400 people have registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches so far, with events being planned across the length and breadth of the country.

    The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: Artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers will unite to tell the story of The Queen’s 70 year reign in an awe-inspiring festival of creativity. The London based Pageant will combine pomp and ceremony, street arts, theatre, music, circus, costumes as well as cutting-edge visual technology, drawing on talent from every part of the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.

    Forming an important part of the Platinum Pageant, the ‘River of Hope’ section will comprise of two hundred silk flags which will process down The Mall, appearing like a moving river. Primary and secondary school children are invited to create a picture of their hopes and aspirations for the planet over the next 70 years. A selection of these creations will be transferred on to silk flags, which will carried by secondary school pupils in the Pageant.

    The artwork for the flags will be focused on climate change and incorporate the children’s messages for the future. Teachers from applying schools will be provided with step-by-step guides to creating a beautiful digital artwork with their students, of which 200 will then be selected for the flags. The selected artwork will also be shown up and down the country on screens as part of the Jubilee celebrations. For more information and to register your school’s interest to take part please go to riverofhope.co.uk.

    The Food Warehouse (Iceland) is due to open in Hereford soon

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The Food Warehouse (Iceland) is due to open soon in the former unit previously occupied by Oak Furniture Land on Holmer Road Hereford. Hereford Voice broke the news about Oak Furniture Land intentions to close their Hereford branch back in April 2021 in our article here


    The Food Warehouse is open to the public and trade alike offering the wholesale experience, without any membership required.

    The Food Warehouse was formed in 2014 which makes them rather young! As part of Iceland Foods, Iceland's history goes right back to 1970 when Malcolm Walker and another retailer founded the very first Iceland store. Iceland now has over 800 stores and The Food Warehouse, over 120 with Hereford due to open soon hopefully creating up to 25 new jobs locally.


    Vacancies now available for the new Hereford store include Team Leaders and Retail Assistants full details and how to apply here 👇 https://www.thefoodwarehouse.com/vacancies/



    Breaking News | Oak Furnitureland Hereford Store Closing

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Voice have this evening received reports that the Oak Furnitureland store on the Salmon Retail Park, Holmer Road Hereford will reopen Monday with an immediate 'closing down' sale. 


    We are informed that staff we given just 4 weeks notice of redundancy this morning and informed that the Hereford branch is scheduled to close in May.

    The hardwood furniture business announced restructuring plans last summer after it was rescued from collapse in a pre-pack administration deal.

    On June 15 2020, the retailer was acquired by global investment manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management following a sales process by Deloitte.

    Appeal from family of missing woman Janet Edwards

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Janet Edwards from Tillington in Herefordshire was last seen one month ago today.

    In a statement to West Mercia Police, the family said: "We dearly miss Jan. Christmas without her was painfully sad. 

    "We are infinitely grateful for the support of Jan's friends, and the community, the volunteers, and the emergency services.  Everyone involved has worked tirelessly to look for Jan. 

    "Very sadly, we are no closer to finding her.  We would be so very grateful if everyone seeing this would continue to look out for anything, however small, that might aid the search efforts.  We thank everyone sincerely for their support."


    Janet was last seen in the area of Beechwood Court, Hereford at 3pm on Friday 10 December 2021.

    CCTV images of her on the day she went missing show her wearing a green Raab jacket, blue jeans and casual brown boots with a white trim and sole.

    The 66-year-old is a well-known and well-liked member of the Herefordshire Community and served with the NHS. She is also healthy and a keen runner.


    Officers from West Mercia Police have been conducting enquiries and carrying out searches using specially trained officers, police dogs and volunteer rescue groups.

    Supt Edd Williams said: “We’re appealing for information, no matter how small, from members of the public that might help us find Janet. 

    "The social media engagement has been brilliant and I’d like to thank the communities of Herefordshire who’ve been sharing our appeals and ask that they continue to do so.

    "Janet’s disappearance is completely out of character and we are extremely concerned. We’re continuing to work with and support the family at this very difficult time with specialist officers.”


    Anyone who may have seen Janet or come into contact with her is asked to contact us.

    We also ask that anyone who was driving in the area of Beechwood Court, Penn Grove Road, Venns Lane, College Road, Aylestone Hill, Folly Lane, or Bodenham Road between 3pm and 7pm on 10 December who has dash-cam footage, to please review it to see if they can see Janet and if so to contact officers.  

    Similarly, we ask anyone with CCTV/or a doorbell camera in the above areas who has not yet received a visit from the police to review the footage from that day and time bearing in mind the description of Janet; and if they see someone fitting her description then to contact the police.

    Anyone who has any information is urged to call 101 or visit our website, quoting incident 654i of 10 December, 2021, or report it online via our website www.westmerciapolice.uk/tua/tell-us-about/

    Alternatively, if you have information but don’t feel comfortable speaking to police, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers. It is 100% anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call or IP address. You can contact them online or by calling 0800 555 111.


    Man charged with murder in Herefordshire

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    West Mercia Police have confirmed that today, Ben Armstrong, aged 48, from Dyfed, Wales, has been charged with murder and assaulting an emergency worker.


    He has been charged in relation to the murder of a 78-year-old woman that occurred on Thursday 6 January in Moreton Eye, Herefordshire.

    The area is still cordoned off whilst their enquiries are ongoing.

    £15,000 Awarded to Close House

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford City Council agreed to release this year’s grant of £15,000 to Close House in order to help fund their numerous projects, following a report presented by Ben Lea.


    Close House is a Youth Centre located in Hereford City Centre, and Hereford City Council have long been proud to support their brilliant work with young people. The Close House Project aims to be a safe, supportive and inspiring place for Hereford’s youth, breaking the cycle of negative experience and behaviour that some young people face, helping them find hope and aspiration and enabling them to control the direction their own lives take.

    The ongoing funding from the City Council covers the cost of running their drop-in service, as well as the Idle Hands programme. Close House also help run the Hereford City Youth Council, which gives young people a voice on the Parish Council and helps introduce them to the inner workings of Council and office environments.

    As unfortunately expected, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the work of Close House very difficult. Face-to-face appointments and meetings have not been possible, leaving many young people without the support they need without Close House. Though the group is now making a fresh start after the recent lifting of lockdowns, it has been difficult for staff to manage as several staff members have moved on and there is a marked lack of gap year students and volunteers.

    However, Close House has made progress on branching out to more young people to seek able and willing help, and business is picking up rapidly. It’s no surprise that young people are keen to delve into Close House’s inspiring work. The Idle Hands project has worked through three outreach programmes in large spaces to enable meetings during the pandemic; this helps tackle risks posed to young people such as County Lines drawing them into drug-related issues and associated crime. Close House enables those vulnerable to these issues turn negative behaviour into positive behaviour; a truly applaudable goal.

    City Councillors agreed that Close House’s work in the City is vital for young people in Hereford, and many spoke to express their appreciation for their ongoing work and support. It was agreed that the annual grant of £15,000 be released to help Close House continue their projects.

    For more information on Close House, visit: www.closehouse.org


    £10,000 Awarded to Hereford Citizen’s Advice Bureau

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford City Council awarded an annual grant of £10,000 to the Hereford Citizen’s Advice Bureau, to help them continue providing their vital services.


    Hereford Citizen’s Advice Bureau work to give local people advice on issues which are causing them problems in life, whatever that problem may be. From unemployment and benefits, to relationship troubles and child support, Hereford CAB tackle issues in every corner of our community.

    When Hereford City Councillors last caught up with Hereford Citizen’s Advice Bureau in May 2021, they asked how their previous £10,000 grant had been put to use since awarded it in 2020. As expected, the pandemic had put a huge strain on the team, and enquiries had risen substantially. From people losing their jobs to housing evictions and money issues, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau had dealt with a variety of unforeseen circumstances, aiding those who had been hardest hit by the lockdowns.

    Sadly, many more people throughout 2021 have had to deal with these challenges. The team have dealt with a massive amount of cases, most of which were due to Covid-19. Many who had never had experience of the benefits system had been forced to claim universal credit after entering troubled times, and in a number of cases those people did not have access to the internet or knowledge of how to navigate the system. Now that the eviction moratorium has been lifted, the courts have a backlog of cases and the CAB maintain a desk at the court to offer advice, which often achieves last minute stays of action while better solutions are found.

    Roughly 44% of cases are related to benefits and 40% of claimants have a long term disability. People in crisis are currently desperate for help, and the City Council fully supports the work the CAB do in helping them. It was agreed by City Councillors that the annual grant of £10,000 be released to Hereford Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help these incredible efforts continue.

    For more information on Hereford CAB, visit: www.herefordshirecab.org.uk


    New Year sees new building of retirement village in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Construction will soon begin on a new Retirement Village development on Roman Road on the outskirts of Hereford.

    The site in Holmer will provide 80 one and two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent and is being brought to the city by Vistry Partnerships and Platform Housing Group.

    Platform, who run a similar development at Harling Court in Ledbury, will also provide onsite care and support services plus various communal facilities for the residents.


    Cllr Ange Tyler, Cabinet member for Housing, regulatory services, and community safety, said: “Providing affordable housing is a key issue for Local Authorities across Britain, and Herefordshire is no different. One of our key priorities is to deliver safe, comfortable and affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable people. We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with Vistry Partnerships and Platform Housing Group on this project, and look forward to the new Retirement Village taking shape.”

    Darren Beale, Regional Managing Director at Vistry Partnerships West Midlands said, “We have extensive experience designing and constructing extra care schemes and we’re very pleased to be working in partnership again with Platform Housing. As one of the country’s leading regeneration specialists we recognise the need to support our partners to build homes across all tenures, particularly homes and care services for older people.”

    Steve Eaves, Director of Regeneration at Platform Housing said, “This is a fantastic partnership that will provide much needed older persons housing in a very popular and strategically important area for our partners at Herefordshire Council. We are also very much looking forward to working with Vistry again. They have a great rack record of successfully delivering large schemes with Platform.“

    Some £19m is being spent on the project which is anticipated to begin in the spring.

    Man Arrested Following Reports of inappropriate Behaviour Towards Women in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,


    Several reports had been received between 18 December and 3 January but no injuries had been reported.

    Officers carried out enquiries and yesterday (Wednesday 5 January) arrested a 34-year-old man from Hereford on suspicion of sexual assault. .

    He was bailed pending further enquiries.

    Anyone with any concerns about an incident is urged to visit https://www.westmercia.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/.

    Always dial 999 in an emergency.

    Murder Investigation Launched in Herefordshire

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    West Mercia Police Statement;


    Today a murder investigation was launched after a woman was found dead at a property in Herefordshire.

    At around 8am this morning, we received a report of a collision whereby a car crashed into a telegraph pole on Eye Lane, Luston in Herefordshire.

    Officers responded and, following enquiries, attended an address in Moreton Eye, Herefordshire with colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service.

    Sadly, a 78-year-old woman was found dead at the address. The death is being investigated as a murder and a 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

    West Mercia Police officers remain at the scene whilst enquiries are ongoing.

    Council Tax freeze?

    By megilleland,

    Will this happen here in Herefordshire - I doubt it.

    Telford & Wrekin Council has today announced that Council Tax rates will remain frozen until 2024 to help support local residents.

    A statement from Telford & Wrekin Council said:

    “As Telford and Wrekin residents, we’re on your side. That’s why, we’re proposing to freeze council tax for the next two years.

    “We want to help those who have been hit hard by the pandemic, as well as escalating energy costs and household bills. Every penny counts and we hope that this will help you weather the storm of eye watering inflation and hikes in the cost of energy, food, rents, mortgage rates and fuel.

    Councillor Shaun Davies, leader at Telford & Wrekin Council and Labour group leader, said: “We already have the lowest council tax in the Midlands for the services this council delivers. However, we have made the decision to go one step further and commit to a 0% council tax rise for the next two years.

    Another Fire at Derelict Building in Eign St Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service crews attended a fire at a derelict building on Eign Street in Hereford this afternoon. 4 sets of breathing apparatus, 1 hose reel jet and 1 covering jet were used to extinguish the fire on the ground floor.


    There was a fire at this derelict building back in November.

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