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    UK Gov To Launch First Ever UK Emergency Alert System

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    About Emergency Alerts

    On Sunday 23 April 2023, there will be a national test of the UK Emergency Alerts service.

    Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby.

    In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.

    The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.

    Reasons you might get an alert

    You may get alerts about:

    • Severe flooding
    • Fires
    • Extreme weather

    Emergency alerts will only be sent by:

    • The emergency services
    • Government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies

    What happens when you get an emergency alert

    Your mobile phone or tablet may:

    • Make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
    • Vibrate
    • Read out the alert
    • The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

    An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.

    You’ll get alerts based on your current location - not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.

    What you need to do

    When you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions in the alert.

    If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

    You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle.

    If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.

    Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.

    It is illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.

    If you cannot receive emergency alerts

    If you do not have a compatible device, you’ll still be informed about an emergency. The emergency services have other ways to warn you when there is a threat to life.

    Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.

    If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted

    If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.

    Alert languages

    Emergency alerts will be sent in English. In Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.

    Some exciting news for The Pavilion on the Castle Green in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Earlier today our Friends of Castle Green announced that they have applied for planning permission to regenerate the historic Pavilion building. Whilst respecting its Georgian heritage, the plans submitted aim to create a modern, accessible space and iconic visitor attraction in the heart of Hereford.


    The revitalised building will provide cafe facilities and flexible community meeting space, as well as the opportunity to celebrate local arts and heritage and a revived home for the Hereford Youth Canoe Club (HYCC).


    The once forgotten Pavilion will become a new and much needed thriving and sustainable community hub, a defining visitor attraction in the city and a source of pride for residents.

    The project has been made possible thanks to a successful £22.4million funding bid for the City of Hereford via the Stronger Towns Fund. The Pavilion project is one of fourteen projects elected for funding and FoCG has submitted a planning application for a £1.56 million regeneration of this historic building on the banks of the River Wye.


    Our Hereford LIVE first HD camera is kindly hosted by our lovely friends at The Pavilion, Castle Green on this very building overlooking the river Wye and Victoria Bridge.

    LIVE CAMERA FEED 👉 https://bit.ly/VickyBridge

    Hopefully this will be approved without a hitch becuase we can't wait for this much needed update and modernisation of this fabulous historic building on the lovely Castle Green in Hereford

    Hereford Man Found Guilty Of Attempted Murder

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Alexander Stone, 38, of Bridge Street in Kington was found guilty of attempted murder today (Friday 17 March) at Worcester Crown Court.


    The incident happened in High Street in Kington on Friday 22 July 2022 when Stone attempted to strike the victim multiple times to the head with a hammer. This happened in full view of shoppers and members of public, many of whom intervened.

    Detective Constable Leah Lowe, the investigating officer said “We welcome the verdict today which comes at the end of a detailed investigation. The victim has shown considerable courage in what has been a deeply distressing case. Stone acted with extreme violence and if it hadn’t been for the intervention of members of public prior to the arrival of the police, the outcome may have been far worse. I hope this reassures the community that we will deal with such acts of violence with determination and ensure that victims are supported and given the confidence to come forward”.


    Stone is due to be sentenced next month at Worcester Crown Court.

    Are Herefordshire Council And Local Councillors Expecting Noise/Crime/Anti-Social Behaviour At Three Counties Hotel?

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Residents in Belmont have today received the letter below from Hereford Mayor, Councillor Mark Dykes. The overriding tone of the letter appears to suggest that 'Security - Noise - Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime are anticipated, which is also inline with the recent FAQ set out by Herefordshire Council in our 'Breaking News' news article last week https://bit.ly/3countieshotel.


    There has been a delay in the arrival of up to 120 Asylum Seekers but there are some obvious concerns here from both Herefordshire Council and the Hereford Mayor.

    There is an Emergency Extraordinary Meeting Of Belmont Rural Parish Council to be held at The Left Bank Village on Friday.

    Both MP's have confirmed that they are unable to attend. West Mercia Police have confirmed they will be at the meeting and invitations have also been sent to the Chief Executive of Herefordshire Council is Paul Walker, NHS and the Serco (security company) onsite manager/representative.

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an ‘extraordinary’ meeting of the Belmont Rural Parish Council will be held on Friday 17th March 2023 at The Left Bank Village - River Terrace, Bridge Street, Hereford, HR4 9DG, commencing at 19:00hrs, doors will be open from 18:30hrs.

    The ONLY item being considered will be to accept members of public comment regarding the recent Three Counties Hotel, Belmont, Hereford being used as temporary accommodation for Asylum Seekers to the United Kingdom.

    Emergency Extraordinary Meeting Of Belmont Parish Rural Council

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    As a direct response to our 'Breaking News' article of the 17th of February 2023 HERE 👉 https://hfd.news/T5b3 about 120 Asylum Seekers to be accommodated at the Three Counties Hotel, Hereford Voice are privileged to have been officially invited to attend this meeting.

    Both MP's will be invited along with Chief Executive of Herefordshire Council Mr Paul Walker and the Serco (security company) onsite manager/representative.

    The meeting is open for the public to attend and as numbers are expected to be high, a larger venue than normal was required.

    This is your opportunity to 'HAVE YOUR SAY' and ask any questions or concerns that you may have.

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an Extraordinary meeting of the Belmont Rural Parish Council will be held on Friday 17th March 2023 at The Left Bank Village - River Terrace, Bridge Street, Hereford, HR4 9DG, commencing at 19:00hrs, doors will be open from 18:30hrs. 

    The ONLY item being considered will be to accept members of public comment regarding the recent Three Counties Hotel, Belmont, Hereford being used as temporary accommodation for Asylum Seekers to the United Kingdom.


    'Remember Where You Heard It First'

    Hereford Voice, Leading The Way



    Courtyard Struggle To Stay Open With Lack Of Support From Herefordshire Council Over Essential Building Works

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The Courtyard is fighting to keep its doors open due to vital and costly structural works that need to be undertaken urgently.

    During The Courtyard’s major Capital Expansion project, which was partly funded by Arts Council England, the community hub discovered that the building needed urgent repair. Extensive surveys during this time revealed multiple issues with the glazing that makes up the external walls of the building (known as curtain walling). The surveys carried out in 2019, 2020 and 2022 all recommended that the curtain walling should be replaced, but the estimated cost of full replacement would be over £600,000.

    The Courtyard approached Herefordshire Council, the owners of the building, with the news of the survey results. The Courtyard, a registered charity, was met with a firm response from Council Officers that they are not liable for the repairs in any way and that the costs were the sole responsibility of The Courtyard.

    Further research uncovered that when the curtain walling was installed in 1998, it was only designed to last for 25 years. September 2023 marks 25 years since The Courtyard opened, therefore, immediate action needed to be taken and The Courtyard had no option but to begin structural repairs and delay the full replacement of the curtain walling.

    The Rt. Hon. Jesse Norman inspects the curtain walling issues at The Courtyard

    The Courtyard took legal advice on the question of liability for the repairs. From that advice and the building survey that has been carried out, it appeared that the problems with The Courtyard are so fundamental that it should be the Council, as owner and landlord of the premises, which is responsible for the cost of remedying what appear to be fundamental defects in the design and construction of the curtain walling.

    Hereford and South Herefordshire MP, Jesse Norman expressed his concern at the prospect of The Courtyard facing these costly works, knowing that the charity would be unable to afford to repair or replace the entire curtain walling itself.

    “The Courtyard is an essential asset both for the city and the county of Herefordshire.” Said Jesse Norman, “I am no expert in this area, but anyone can see that the footings of the curtain walls were never installed properly in the first place.”

    As an independent charity, who had just managed to financially survive the coronavirus pandemic, The Courtyard appealed to Herefordshire Council, as the owners of the building, for support on numerous occasions. However, despite these attempts Herefordshire Council Officers refused to negotiate and matters have reached an impasse.

    The Courtyard has since been forced to dip into its scarce reserves and commission emergency interim structural repairs, which began in January. The estimated cost of this is currently around £150,000.

    “We hope that the action we have taken will extend the life of this part of the building by at least 10 years, until the curtain walling can ultimately be replaced.” Says Chair of The Courtyard Board, Bruce Freeman, “We remain deeply saddened that our local Council, the owner of the building, which was responsible for signing off the original build in 1998, has shown so little sign of assisting us and helping us preserve, not only a valued cultural hub for Herefordshire, and its second most visited building, but also an Arts Centre that generates around £15 million per year for the local economy. It is the Board’s sincere hope that a more understanding and positive relationship can be established when the new administration is elected in May.”

    LOCAL NEWS | Today £1.3 Million Improvement Works Begin On Widemarsh Street Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The original layout was installed back in 2011 under the previous Council Administration, so this work and extra cost is as a direct result of continuous complaints and issues arising from the low kerbs in particular, which were installed at that time.


    This work is long overdue, over a decade after the road was redesigned and this hazard has been allowed to continue for too long.

    Hereford Voice would like to thank campaigners like Barb Tilling and Anna Gardiner from local group Widemarsh Street Trips and Falls for their hard work over the years to raise awareness on this issue and also want to thank the coalition administration who have took the decision and secured the funding for the levelling of the kerbs after nothing was done by the previous administration. 


    The existing Widemarsh St design since its completion in 2011 has been subject to a number of specialist design and safety reviews. All of these have concluded that the scheme is fully in line with design guidance and best practice.

    However, the public have continued to lobby local councillors as well as the Cabinet Member regarding incidents personal to them. In light of this a Cabinet Member decision made last year ensured that a budget to enhance Widemarsh St was included in the HCCI programme.

    Councillor John Harrington, Cabinet member infrastructure and transport said:

    “The existing layout of Widemarsh St was conceived with the best of intentions, conforming, I believe, to design and best practice guidance, and with the aim of promoting pedestrian safety. And this remains the professional view of officers and our public realm contractor. However, it is our opinion as an administration, that unfortunately and undeniably, the design has caused difficulties for some pedestrians, and this is something we were keen to remedy.

    “Widemarsh St is a key part of the City centre, being a popular route for pedestrians and vehicles, home to many shops and businesses, and providing an important link between Old Market and High Town. It is a central component of our transport network and economy, along with the status and appeal of Hereford as a visitor destination and place for local people to enjoy their leisure time. As such it is important that we listen to feedback from the public to make it as safe as possible.

    “We explored a wide variety of options, with emphasis on aesthetics, safety, ease of use, drainage and cost. Unfortunately, no matter which way we cut it in terms of trying to remove the kerb and its negative effects - balancing that out against best value in trying times financially - nothing provided the certainty that we insisted on other than this optimal solution of removing the kerb completely. This will be expensive but it is a cost we are certain we must pay to ensure this street scheme is what the visitors and residents of Herefordshire deserve. I am only sorry that it has taken so long to address”.

    A spokesperson for Hereford Business Improvement District said;

    "The enhancement works to Widemarsh Street which is planned to last around 17 weeks.

    A letter will be/ has been sent to businesses explaining plans.

    The arrangements for deliveries are as follows:

    ONLY PRE-NOTIFIED DELIVERIES WILL BE ALLOWED BY CALLING 07880 342090 (please note the number does not yet work but we expect this to do so in the coming weeks).

    Smaller Vehicles - Access Maylord Street via Blue School Street by turning left into Maylord Street service yard.....continue across the yard and turn right opposite Specsavers down Maylord Street to Widemarsh Street. A banksman will be there to help vehicles turn around and exit via the same route.

    Larger Vehicles - Access Maylord Street via Blue School Street by turning left into Maylord Street service yard.....use Maylord's service yard to turn around and exit"

    Who does this belong to?

    By megilleland,

    13 inch stainless steel knife conveniently dropped into road drain. Noticed while litter picking Sunday12th March 2023. Hope it wasn't used on anyone! Contacted police that morning. No reply so far.



    Concerns Over Use Of Drones In SouthWye

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Residents particularly in SouthWye have seen a big increase in the use of drones in the area. If you have a drone then please read the advice here from West Mercia Police;


    Use of Drones

    Dear All, 

    After a rise in incidents relating to the use of drones within the Southside Area, we hope this message will outline some of the rules relating to drones.

    The UK’s drone rules are based on the risk of the flight – where you fly, the proximity to other people, and the size and weight of your drone.

    Rules surrounding public drone use.

    Persons flying drones need to follow the drone and model aircraft code. Some of the key rules are:

    • Never fly higher than 120m / 400ft 

    • Always keep the drone in sight 

    • Keep clear of airspace restrictions, including around aerodromes, unless you have permission to fly within them 

    • Keep 50m away from uninvolved people, to avoid endangering them 

    • In most cases, unless flying a drone that is less than 250g, persons must keep at least 150 metres horizontally away from parks, industrial, residential and built-up areas

    All of the rules also apply if flying at night.

    If a person’s drone weighs less than 250g then they may overfly a small number of people for a short period of time. But, if they have a heavier drone, or want to fly near or over people for longer periods then it’s most likely they will fall into the Specific category of regulations and may well need a special approval from the Civil Aviation Authority. This may allow them to fly in congested areas and closer to people.

    Registration and flyer ID

    If the person’s drone has a camera (unless it is a toy) or weighs 250g or more then they need to register with the CAA. They need to renew this registration every year. 

    Anyone flying a drone 250g or more needs to pass a test and get a flyer ID from the CAA.

    Minimum age to fly

    In most cases you must be at least 12 years old to fly a drone on your own*. 

    You can fly if you are under 12, but you must be supervised by someone 16 or over and both of you must have passed the flyer ID test.

    Labelling your drone or model aircraft

    Persons must label every drone or model aircraft they’re responsible for with their Operator ID. Operators will use the same Operator ID for all their drones or model aircraft. 

    Operators can find their Operator ID in a confirmation email or online.

    Further advice and information around drones can be found by visiting the CAA HERE

    Drone code can be downloaded below;




    Pupils from St Thomas Cantilupe primary school to feature on BBC Countryfile. 

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The project, Stories of Change, is funded through an #iwillfund grant via Herefordshire Community Foundation and is an opportunity for the children, who are all in Year 5, to find out more about the pollution of the river Wye. Pupils at Lea primary school are also taking part. 

    So far, the children have met campaigners and some of the groups held responsible for the pollution. They have created artwork and started to plan short films for a launch at The Bishop's Palace on June 26th. 


    Countryfile filmed a session where the children met representatives of the Friends of the Upper Wye and a local citizen scientist called Fran. The children gathered natural materials from around the river and then worked with poet Jean Atkin to create 'spells' to reverse the state of pollution within the river. (The group have called themselves Turn it Around). They then watched a short film about the state of the river Wye made by Friends of the Upper Wye and there was a Q and A where each group asked the other questions.  


    We all walked to the Victoria Bridge to work with the citizen scientist and this is where we met Anita Rani. The children learned how to collect water and test it for phosphates. 

    The children were extremely excited to meet Anita and asked her lots of questions about her time on Strictly which she was happy to answer. 


    This will feature on Countryfile on the 19th March. 

    #HerefordVoice | #HerefordNews | #HerefordshireNews | #HerefordCommunity | #Hereford | #Herefordshire 

    BREAKING NEWS | Herefordshire Council Statement

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,



    "Herefordshire Council has been informed by the Home Office that they plan to use the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford as accommodation for people awaiting the outcome of their asylum applications, starting from 13 March 2023.

    This is a private arrangement between the Home Office and the hotel, which is closing to the public.

    The council was not involved in this arrangement and will not be involved in running the site or providing day-to-day support, all of which will be managed by the Home Office’s contractor, Serco.
    However, the council will be working closely with Serco, local partners and the community and voluntary sector to ensure appropriate help and wellbeing support is in place for those coming to the county and to respond to any matters raised by businesses and residents.

    Asylum seekers will be accommodated on a full-board basis within the property. There will be support on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, along with security staff, and this is all being funded by the Home Office.

    Herefordshire has a proud history of welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers. Over the past year we have seen the generous support extended to Ukrainian refugees and the compassion shown by local communities to those in need and it is hoped that asylum seekers coming to Herefordshire will receive the same warm welcome"

    'Remember Where You Heard It First' 

    Hereford Voice 'Leading The Way For Others To Follow'


    BREAKING NEWS | Herefordshire Council FAQ

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Three Counties Hotel - frequently asked questions about asylum accommodation


    In February 2023, the Home Office informed Herefordshire Council that they intended to use the Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford as accommodation for asylum seekers. Our full statement about this is online.

    Whilst we appreciate local concerns, please be mindful that not all of the individuals being accommodated at the hotel will understand English and they may have had a very difficult experience before arriving here. We should be grateful for your patience and understanding at what will be a worrying and confusing time for them.

    We know you will have a lot of questions about this situation, how this happened so quickly and what the council’s involvement is. We have put together a number of responses to some frequently asked questions below which will hopefully help in understanding what’s going on. We will continue to update these.

    ▪️Why have asylum seekers been placed in the hotel?

    The Home Office recently told us that they intended to use the Three Counties Hotel as temporary accommodation for people awaiting the outcome of their asylum application. This is due to the number of boats that cross the English Channel continuing to rise. The use of hotels is happening across the country and not just in Herefordshire.

    This provision will be managed by a Home Office contractor called Serco.

    ▪️Was Herefordshire Council asked if the hotel could be used for this?

    No. The Home Office makes the decision on which properties are used.

    ▪️Is the council receiving any funding for this?

    No. The council receives no funding for this.

    ▪️Will other hotels in Herefordshire be used?

    The Home Office has told us that they have no plans to use further hotels in Herefordshire.

    ▪️Will the people being accommodated be single persons or families?

    We do not have this information, it is held by the Home Office. Whoever stays at the hotel is based on need and pressures in the asylum system.

    ▪️How long will they remain in Herefordshire?

    At the moment, we do not known how long the hotel will be used but the Home Office has signed a 12 month contract with the owners. People will move out as their applications for asylum are progressed. This means that the people staying in the hotel will change over time.

    ▪️Will the people have access to local health services?

    Yes, they will be able to access local health services in the same way as any person visiting Herefordshire on a temporary basis would do.

    ▪️Will school-age asylum seekers be placed in local schools?

    Were children to be placed in Herefordshire, they would be given access to education. This could be through attendance at local schools and colleges or through other ways depending upon the needs of those placed here.

    ▪️What additional security has been put in place?

    Serco are providing staff to ensure 24-hour on-site security cover, seven days a week but people living in the hotel are free to leave the hotel, they are not detained there.

    ▪️What is being done to ensure their behaviour inside and outside the hotel?

    Serco has a manager on site and we are in daily contact with them. Any concerns about anti-social behaviour will be reported to the police and they will deal with any reports or concerns as they would normally do.

    Any concerns about noise and anti-social behaviour from the hotel should be emailed to refugeesupport@herefordshire.gov.uk where it will be raised with the hotel and relevant partners.

    If you have a crime to report, please contact the Police in the usual ways by either calling 101 or using their online reporting form. Only use 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if the crime is happening right now.

    If you have any questions about the provision of the hotel, please contact the Home Office by emailing public.enquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk or calling 020 7035 4848.

    ▪️How long will the asylum seekers have been in the country and where will they have come from?

    We do not know this, and the Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

    Some of the asylum seekers may be newly arrived in the UK and others may have been in the UK for some time whilst awaiting a decision on their asylum claim.

    The number of refugees and people seeking asylum goes up and down, depending on what is happening in the world. Conflict in several countries has swelled recent figures, for example.

    Most asylum seekers flee over their nearest border, where they are likely to live in camps.

    Asylum seekers come from many parts of the world. Government statistics suggest that for the year ending September 2021 highest numbers came from Iran, Eritrea, Albania, Iraq and Syria. The nationality of those residing at the hotel will therefore vary.

    ▪️Can asylum seekers claim welfare benefits?

    Asylum seekers are not able to claim welfare benefits, nor are they allowed to work.

    Asylum seekers in hotel accommodation where food is provided, such as the Three Counties Hotel, currently receive just over £9 per person per week.

    ▪️Why are most asylum seekers male?

    They are not.

    According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), women and girls make up about half of any asylum seeking, refugee or internally displaced population.

    However, women and children may be left in refugee camps in neighbouring countries while the men leave the camp to take the risky and often deadly trip to another country.

    Families that travel together in a big group have a harder time with the logistics. Women and children are also at much higher risk of sexual abuse, violence and exploitation by traffickers and organised criminal gangs on the route. Therefore, families may stay behind and wait until the men have applied for asylum and the rest of their family will then follow in a much safer way. This is often facilitated by the British Red Cross.

    ▪️Why don’t asylum seekers stay in the first safe country?

    Most do stay in the first safe country. 80% of the world’s asylum seekers and refugees are living in countries neighbouring their country of origin.

    The number one reason that asylum seekers give for continuing their journey to the UK is that they have family ties here. This covers over 50% of cases. Other factors that people will take into account are more practical, for example, if you speak the language, you have more chance of being able to find a job and you can navigate everyday tasks like understanding public transport or going shopping.

    It is also not uncommon for asylum seekers to also state their belief that the UK is a safe, tolerant and democratic country and refer to previous links between their own country and the UK.

    There is no legal requirement for an asylum seeker to make their claim in any particular country.

    ▪️What about bogus/illegal asylum seekers?

    There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ or ‘bogus’ asylum seeker.

    Under international law, anyone has the right to apply for asylum in any country, that has signed the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and to remain there until the authorities have assessed their claim.

    It is a legal process. 

    'Remember Where You Heard It First'

    Bomb Disposal Teams Safely Detonate Suspect Device In Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Following reports that we received this afternoon that a residential area close to Aylesbrook (just off Roman Road) and at the rear of the Racecourse had been cordoned off by Police, we can now confirm that Army Bomb Disposal Experts have safely detonated a suspect device.


    This is the moment when the Army carried out the controlled explosion.

    Thank you to Aneta Sedziak for kindly sending us this video and images.

    Hereford Masterplan A Comprehensive Vision Set Out For The Future Of Hereford.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A draft masterplan for Hereford has been published which provides a future blueprint for making the city an even better place to live, work, visit and study.


    The draft plan, which has been published following recent initial public engagement, sets out a vision to enhance the character of the city, improve transport connections, boost the local economy and improve green spaces.

    The masterplan integrates existing strategies, including The Big Economic Plan, the Local Transport Plan and emerging Local Plan, to provide a coherent vision to ensure that future improvements to the city and county are coordinated. It also provides a compelling case to gain the funding needed to deliver the proposals over the next 25 years.

    Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet will discuss the plan on Thursday 2 March and is set to recommend that it goes out to further public consultation. This is expected to happen in the early summer.

    The Council’s Cabinet Member - Infrastructure and Transport, John Harrington, said: 

    “Hereford is a wonderful place to live, learn, work and shop. This masterplan sets out a comprehensive long-term vision to retain and strengthen everything we love about the City while bringing new opportunities for local people by boosting the economy, improving leisure and cultural facilities and building new homes. This work, done in parallel with our work on establishing an Eastern river crossing, will make Hereford the modern, sustainable and resilient City we need it to be.

    “We also want to give people far more choice on how they want to get around the city and region with a much greater focus on making it easier and safer, for those that can and wish to, to walk and cycle within the City which will tackle climate change, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and encourage healthier lifestyles.

    “At the heart of this plan is the recognition and celebration of our cultural identity to ensure that our rich history shapes our future.”

    He added: 

    “It is worth stating that this is a long-term vision and it will not be delivered immediately. Much will depend on the availability of funding, but this underlines why it is so important to have a comprehensive, joined-up vision so that we can make a compelling case for funding.”

    Within the plan, five strategic objectives have been set for the city, taking into account feedback from public engagement. They include:

    🔹Giving people more choice on how to get around the city and region with a greater focus on reducing the need to use cars for shorter journeys by making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport. This would improve air quality and reduce congestion.
    🔹Create a healthier and more equal city by bringing more prosperity and encouraging people to become more active.
    🔹Developing the city’s economy, including providing new, high quality affordable homes and better commercial, leisure and learning opportunities.
    🔹Improving green spaces and providing more nature-based solutions to meet climate change goals.
    🔹Enhancing Hereford’s built and natural heritage by delivering outstanding design of future buildings and public spaces.
    It sets out 12 ‘Big Ideas’ for achieving the objectives which are:

    ▪️Idea 1: Improving neighbourhoods by re-establishing local centres with a great range of services and shops to reduce the need to travel. This would be underpinned through the expansion of ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ to restrict through traffic in some areas, supported by ‘School Streets’ which will make it easier and safer for young people and their parents to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

    ▪️Idea 2: ‘People-friendly streets’ with investment in infrastructure to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, thus reducing the need for short car journeys. This would be supported by public realm improvements with more green spaces, the expansion of 20mph areas, more controlled parking zones and a gradual long-term reduction of on-street parking.

    ▪️Idea 3: Boosting Historic Walls and Gateways through the establishment of a recreational trail which connects the city’s medieval defences, much of which have become lost or obscured. The trail would become a valuable educational, cultural and leisure resource which would bring back life an important part of Hereford’s history and identity. Five historic ‘City Gateways,’ would be marked with public realm improvements and better pedestrian and cycling access.

    ▪️Idea 4: Revealing the Historic Core: creating a series of projects that will help restore neglected areas of the of the city’s historic core which will create new and improved public spaces, enhance the character through greening and encourage more walking and cycling. For example, one of the projects is to replace paving in High Town with historic stone while reducing street furniture to enable more events to take place. Likewise, St Peter’s Square would also be restored as a historic public space by relocating bus stops, narrowing the highway and restricting traffic between Union Street and Offa Street.

    ▪️Idea 5: A Vibrant Historic Core: setting out an ambition to bring a residential community back into the heart of the city alongside cultural and leisure uses. This includes the possibility of repurposing car parks in the area for community-based use as part of a vision to make the city centre ‘car light’.

    ▪️Idea 6: Hereford, University City: bringing higher learning educational use into the city centre by supporting the newly established New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) along with other key learning institutions. NMITE has an ambition to develop a main campus in the city centre by making use of vacant sites and under-used buildings, supported by strong walking and cycling links.

    ▪️Idea 7: Reconnecting to the River Wye: potential improvements include supporting ongoing efforts by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of Bartonsham Meadows to shape a new nature reserve at Bartonsham Meadows. Other proposals build on the Wyeside project within the Stronger Hereford Town Investment Plan with improved walking and cycling routes to encourage active travel and recreation. The area around St Martin’s Street could become a focus for leisure and hospitality, reinforcing Hereford as an ‘outdoor city’.

    ▪️Idea 8: The Station Quarter: developing a new intergenerational residential-led quarter on the northern-edge of the historic core. A new transport hub at Hereford Station would improve connections with key parts of the city, making it easier to switch between bus, rail, cycling and taxi. Design standards would be based on the city’s Victorian and Georgian heritage with an urban wetland and canal terminus to create a destination space.

    ▪️Idea 9: Commercial Road Corridor: transforming the road to become a green tree-lined boulevard which would create a positive first impression of Hereford a city while making it easier to navigate by bike and foot. There would be a focus on providing housing for the growing student population and unlocking new leisure and retail opportunities to ‘spill out’ onto the boulevard and breathe new life into the area. Land from a newly vacated bus station would be used for key workers and student housing.

    ▪️Idea 10: Re-establishing the Hereford and Gloucester Canal: supporting efforts by the Herefordshire and Gloucester Canal Trust to protect and restore the historic route of the canal so that it can be brought into the city centre and as part of a new Hereford terminus. This will enable water-based recreational and community facilities to be provided at Aylestone Park.

    ▪️Idea 11: Enterprise and Innovation Corridor: supporting long-term ambitions in Hereford’s Economic Plan to identify a broad corridor for employment-led development as land becomes available over the next 25 years, with a focus on green-technology. This will build on the success of the city’s thriving Enterprise Zone at Rotherwas.

    ▪️Idea 12: The Lugg Green Lung: developing high-quality walking and cycling routes to enable people to easily access the natural habitat around the River Lugg without the need to use a car. Undisturbed areas of natural habitat would be protected.

    During the public engagement which, started in December and closed on 3 February, 393 people responded to a survey and over 2,000 comments were received via the survey. In addition, 324 comments were placed on an online map through the ‘Commonplace’ website which encouraged the public to interact with the masterplan.

    The public will have the chance to comment on the proposals in early summer before the final plan is adopted.

    Full proposals can be found in the Cabinet papers 👉 https://bit.ly/HfdMasterplan

    📣 POSITIVE HEREFORD | Hereford Cycle Track Races Ahead 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The cycle track is on target and expected to be complete by August 2023.


    If you’re a regular visitor to Hereford Leisure Centre or Hereford Racecourse, you will have noticed that work is well under way in creating the new off-road cycle track in the north of the city.

    Just over a quarter of the track’s bed has been excavated, and the first section of sub-base laid. Hereford Cycle Track is one of our 15 projects benefiting from our funding programme, and has also received support from Sport England and British Cycling. It’s located next door to one of our other projects – Hereford Skate Park.


    Planning for the floodlit 1km closed circuit cycle track was approved by Herefordshire Council last August and it is expected to be completed in August 2023. It will provide a riding space free from traffic for all recreational riders as well as those that are training or part of a club. There will be a learn to ride area for children with the track mimicking a road layout. A cycle hub will be available which will include adaptive bikes for hire to support riders with disabilities. 

    Keep up to date with progress on Hereford Cycle Track Facebook page.

    Source | StrongerHereford

    Photography by Cadsite Services 

    New Chancellor Appointment At Hereford Cathedral

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Cathedral is delighted to announce the appointment of The Reverend James Pacey as its new Canon Chancellor.


    James currently ministers as part of the Chaplaincy team for the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and prior to ordination worked as a theatre practitioner and director. James will be collated and installed as Chancellor in June and he and his wife Rachael, along with their two cats, look forward to joining the cathedral community.

    The Reverend James Pacey says: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Hereford Cathedral and am looking forward to getting to know the people of the town, diocese and county. With its rich history, treasures and place in the Diocese, I am hugely excited about working with the Dean, Chapter and the community of the Cathedral as we seek to hear the surrounding stories and tell our story of the love and salvation given us in Jesus Christ. I know I follow a wonderful legacy left by Chris Pullin and am immensely excited to be sharing this next chapter in the Cathedral's story.”

    The Very Revd Sarah Brown, Dean of Hereford, says: “James is a rare combination of pastor and missioner, with a liturgical eye and a gift for translating the theology of the church and church buildings into compelling stories which move hearts and minds towards God. I’m looking forward to seeing what he and our Library and Education teams can do to develop our understanding of the wonderful artefacts and resources that we have to offer here. Both Canon Andrew Piper and I are very much looking forward to working with James, as together with the whole Chapter and our amazing staff team we work out what a cathedral is called to be and do.”

    The Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford, says: “I am delighted that James has agreed to join the Cathedral team as Chancellor. His combination of liberal catholic, inclusive theology, great communication and interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm for the life of our cathedral church was evident both in his interview and in commendations from colleagues. We look forward to welcoming him and Rachael to the diocesan family.”

    The Rt Revd Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, says: ‘‘With his gifts of creativity, affinity for liturgy and experience of missional storytelling and engagement with both adults and children, James’ ministry will bring many blessings to the life and mission of Hereford Cathedral.’’

    As well as ministry work, the cathedral’s Chancellor is responsible for the Education department, which leads work with schools and families, and the cathedral’s Library and Archives team. The Chancellor also takes care of the cathedral’s historic artefacts, including the world-famous Mappa Mundi world map, the Chained Library and a copy of the 1217 Magna Carta, as well as the modern day lending library which is open to the public.

    Children's Commissioner Report And Ministerial Decision On Herefordshire Council's Children's Services Published

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The Report Published by the Department For Education


    Please see the response from Herefordshire Council below;

    Herefordshire Council has confirmed publication of the Children’s Commissioner’s report and the subsequent Ministerial decision on Herefordshire Children's Services.

    "We fully accept the Minister’s decision and would like to thank the Children’s Commissioner, Eleanor Brazil, for her support throughout the review of our children’s social care services.

    Paul Walker, Chief Executive, said:

    "I would like to thank the Children’s Commissioner for her report. We are grateful to her for all the work she has done and are committed to working with her and all our partners to meet the targets she has set. I am sorry for the failures she has highlighted – our children and families deserve better and we will work tirelessly to ensure we build the service we all wish to see

    Improving Herefordshire Children’s Services remains this council’s number one priority. There are areas of progress identified by the Commissioner on which we can build, but we accept the pace of change has not been fast enough. We now have in place a detailed three-year improvement plan, which the Commissioner recognises as a strong platform for progress over the coming months, significant additional investment, a strengthened leadership team, a targeted recruitment and retention campaign and the structure for an independent commission to give families a voice and help us all move forward from the mistakes of the past.

    As the Commissioner makes clear in her report, many of the issues facing Herefordshire Children’s Services are long-standing and complex. But we are determined that we will bring about the changes necessary in the timescales set out so that we build a better service fit for the future"

    Darryl Freeman, Director of Children’s Services, said:

    "This is a difficult report for everybody working in the children’s service and I want to say sorry to all the children and families who have not received the support that they deserved. I want to thank the Commissioner for her work and the manner in which she has approached her task. All of us share her vision for the service we want to create and are wholeheartedly committed to meeting the targets she has set within the timescales laid out.

    We welcome this opportunity to work further with the Commissioner and external partners. As the Commissioner says, there are areas of progress which have already been made and on which we can build. But we know that the pace of change has to be quicker, and it will be. I know that the dedication and commitment of everybody involved in the service is entirely focussed on that goal and giving children and families the service they deserve"

    Cllr David Hitchiner, Leader Herefordshire Council, said:

    "The Commissioner’s report makes clear the work which is needed to improve our children’s services and the speed with which it must be done. We fully accept the Commissioner’s findings and I personally would like to thank her for the exceptional way in which she has gone about her work.

    I would also again like to apologise to all the families and children who have not received the support they deserved over a number of years and restate the determination of my administration to put things right.

    We welcome the opportunity to work with the Commissioner, partner authorities, other agencies and families to bring to an end the failings which have affected our children’s service for far too long.

    We know – and the Commissioner acknowledges - that change is under way and improvements have started to show through. We’ve strengthened the leadership team, allocated £22million of investment and sought external and independent advice to put right some of the mistakes of the past. But we also know that there is much more still to be done. We will do it. And we will ensure that the voice of children and families who use our service are heard throughout this process"

    Cllr Diana Toynbee, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

    "I want to thank the Children's Commissioner for her work, and this report. It provides a very thorough context to where our services are, and was informed by her meeting a wide range of people in Herefordshire.

    I’m pleased that the government minister has agreed to the Commissioner’s recommendation that we build on the work that is already underway, strengthened by extra capacity, and her continuing oversight.

    The recommendations and timeline are rigorous, but these targets are my targets, and I could not be more ambitious about reaching them.

    We are determined to make this turning point work for children and families across the county – they deserve nothing less"

    BREAKING NEWS | Greggs Could Soon Be Opening New Café At Rotherwas, Hereford.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Voice can today reveal that 'Greggs' are potentially going to be opening a large café at Phantom House on Holme Lacy Road, Rotherwas Hereford.

    Simulation image created to give just an impression 

    This at the moment is still subject to contract and finalising agreements and planning permission but if this does get the green light it will be a welcome addition for many people working in Rotherwas.

    We understand that here will be significant extended early opening hours, compared to their unit in the city centre. The new Phantom House café will be much bigger in size with plenty of additional seating available..

    Hereford Voice 'Leading The Way For Others To Follow'

    Remember where you heard it first! 

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