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    When is a plan not a plan?

    Simon Brown
    By Simon Brown,

    I congratulate the villagers of Lugwardine on their victory, as described by Nigel Shore in the Hereford Times of December 5th. In his letter Mr Shore contends that some planning committee councillors expressed frustration that there is no five year housing land supply, which results in the “emasculation†of council decision making. It does, but who is to blame for that? The very same councillors who, despite repeated warnings from such bodies as the Hereford Civic Society and CPRE, have sat there twiddling their thumbs and abjectly failing to put a rocket under the managers responsible. I have asked Mr Ashcroft, via Alistair Neill, so he knows too, why there is no five year land supply. His incomprehensible answer can be seen on my web site www.broadernews.wordpress.com under “Ashcroft Answers (Various)â€. Councillors, get your senior officers under control. Ask the awkward questions, and if you don't get satisfactory answers, sack them. You are elected to be “quality control†Herefordshire County PLC so let's have some quality and some control.


    Nigel Shore makes reference to Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) saying that building on green field sites will certainly not be favoured in their NDP. This is wishful thinking. NDPs do not have the authority to stop development, prevent it, look disfavourably upon it, or in any way contest the adopted Local Plan, when it eventually arrives, or the National Planning Policy Framework. I have worked endlessly to impress this point upon my own parish council, to no avail. NDPs are not a landscape defence mechanism. They are the opposite. They will, paradoxically, not increase local control, but reduce it because, once adopted, there will be no ability for many locals to object to any development approved by their NDP, which may have been drawn up and adopted by a tiny minority, the ones who actually bothered to take part in the drafting and who voted in the obligatory referendum. The process is protracted, complex, and to be legitimate and meaningful, must run a long and comprehensive consultation, involving, “reaching†a decent percentage of residents, something that Barbara Ferris has been pouring cold water on this week on the same page of the Hereford Times. On top of that, the Local Plan and the NPPF will trump the NDP at every appeal. NDPs are the planning equivalent of painting yourself into a corner, or mortgaging your future right to have many a say for the chance to have a single say now. It is planning bondage, not planning liberty. 


    Interested parties should have a look at the Report of the Examination of the Cringleford plan which has just been through the inspection phase.http://www.cringlefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/neighbourhood.php They will see that where the residents of Cringleford have included such phrases as “will not be permittedâ€, or “a maximum ofâ€, the inspector has simply ruled them out. Where the residents have clearly been concerned about a particular issue and have recommended constraints in their NDP, the inspector has negated the intention by tacking “except to the extent that this would make needed development unviable†on to the end of the sentence. The promise of having your say is reneged upon by a single shard of planning speak. 


    Nigel Shore's opinion that Lugwardine residents will actually have an effective say in what goes on in their locale is a commonly held view which I dispute. Again, Mr Ashcroft gives an incomprehensible answer when asked why his guidance notes are at odds with what his commissars are saying out there in the parishes, and again, it's on my web site. Interpretations of Ashcroft speak and counter arguments are welcomed.

    With thanks to Bobby and in the belief that these sites we all blog on actually get read by the target: councillors and officers alike. That's who my codswallop is aimed at anyway. 

    Hospital Car Park

    silent bull
    By silent bull,

    "PARKING charges at Hereford County Hospital - already among the highest in the county - are due to go up again."

    Not sure how much it is now, the HT says £3, which I'm guessing is £3 an hour but I'm sure it was more expensive than that when I went there last
    We all need to go to hospital at some point and fight through the smokers that 'hang around' the main door 'like a homeless group meeting' just to visit a loved one, and I find it disgusting that people are forced to pay extortionate prices to see them??

    It's a good job and mate of mine lives just 10 minutes away

    Oh, and why on the HT site isn't there no comments allowed on this subject ??
    And I had to buy the times today and noticed that the contents that the HT took off the site is carefully chosen ;-)

    Disgusting Irresponsible Dog Owners!

    Robert Preece
    By Robert Preece,

    I walk my dog three or four times a week in Belmont Park and I can assure you all that I pick up any deposits, no big deal.

    There are those who don't and I have spoken to them and had abuse or they just look at you as if you are mad, then there are others who do pick up with their bags then throw it into the bushes or into a tree. If you don't pick up well you don't give a monkeys for any normal behaviour. I have got to know most of the dog walkers and the ones I know I think clean up.

    Well that didn't last long...

    By Biomech,

    What, 36 hours?


    That complete cretin of a spineless newspaper editor - Fiona Phillips - has banned me again.


    Biomech 2.0: You have been banned from leaving comments on this website for a serious breach of our site terms and ignoring previous warnings. Do not attempt to log back into this website.


    A meeting of architectural minds

    By megilleland,

    How about these ideas for car parking?


    The word 'cool' is rarely the first thing that springs to a motorist's mind when negotiating the entrance to a multi-storey car park.
    The usually grey, soul-less buildings are not generally regarded as epitomes of architectural elegance or groundbreaking examples of modern design.
    But a competition to find the world's coolest car parks has uncovered dozens of stunning examples and now two British, as well as several US institutions have made it into the top 10.

    When Roundabouts Were Roundabouts...

    Colin James
    By Colin James,

    When roundabouts were roundabouts and we had no traffic lights and not that long ago.


    Wikipedia's definition of a roundabout is the same as mine funny enough


    roundabout is a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic is slowed and flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island to several exits onto the various intersecting roads.





    Highways Agency please see below;


    This is how it works



    Belmont Road Roundabout Photo's curtesy of Old Hereford Pic's



    Reputation Feature

    Adrian Pitt
    By Adrian Pitt,

    I use this if I agree or if I disagree with a comment.

    Police Incident Operation Trilby Hereford

    Colin James
    By Colin James,

    The police have put up a cordon in Eign Road outside the Brewers Arms. 




    West Mercia Police release this statement


    OPERATION TRILBY– Community Update from Superintendent Ivan Powell

    I am the policing commander for Herefordshire and think it is vitally important that I communicate clearly with local residents following a serious incident that took place in the early hours of this morning, Sunday the 24th of November 2013.
    Operation Trilby is the operational name allocated by police into the investigation of a stabbing incident.

    The way in which events unfolded is as follows:
    At approximately 04:40am on the 24
    th of November 2013, police received a telephone call from the ambulance service telling us they were responding to a report of a man who had been stabbed in the Brewers Arms Public house in Hereford.

    A significant number of police resources were deployed to several locations in relation to this incident. These resources included firearms officers, plain clothes and uniform response officers. Other specialist officers are also involved.

    At around 4.54 am, only 14 minutes after the call, two persons were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder by taser equipped officers. Both remain in police custody at this time.

    This was an extremely fast moving investigation that required the deployment a significant number of police resources. I would like to re-iterate some key messages:

    Within 15 minutes of the call being made, two persons were under arrest and there is no longer any threat to the community.
    The victim and suspect are believed to be known to each other and there is no evidence to suggest that any other member of the public is at risk of harm. We have significant policing resources committed to the investigative interviewing, forensic investigation, crime scene searches and house to house enquiries.

    I would also like to thank the local community in Hereford for their understanding and support during this police operation.

    Whilst the identity of the injured male is known to some members of the community, his identity will be confirmed in due course. At this time, his injuries are not thought to be life threatening. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time, but please be reassured we continue to provide them with personal support.

    It is important for me to acknowledge that this is a serious incident, but please be reassured this type of event is very rare, and there is no longer a threat to the community of Herefordshire.

    Members of the public who believe that they have information that may be relevant to the police investigation are to contact West Mercia Police on 101 and ask for officers at Hereford, or please approach any of my staff who will be patrolling your areas whilst they conduct house to house enquiries over the next few days.

    Superintendent Ivan POWELL- Herefordshire Policing Area. 


    Full Official West Mercia Police Statement

    Op Trilby Community impact statement _1HMp-2.pdf


    The day I decided to create my own wealth.

    By bobby47,

    T'other day I was fishing down the Wye. I fish for barbel. It's a lovely fish. Beautifully designed, powerful, a joy to hook and one of the thickest species in the River. I've gazed into this creatures eyes in the hope of learning more about how it thinks and I can tell you all that the barbel is probably the most unintelligent fish I've ever stared at, and I've done my fair share of gazing into the eyes of fish. In fact, I'd urge you all not to repeat my mistake. For two hours after this encounter I couldn't think of anything. My mind was blank. I'd crossed over you see. I'd gone to far. I'd looked into the eyes of this creature and I'd come out of this experience a very different fisherman than I was before I landed the bloody thing and stupidly looked into its eyes and became entranced by its strange and bewitching hypnotic stare.

    Anyway, after I'd recovered from this bloody barbel's influence, I rolled a ***, threw back a generous swig of beer and as I sat there muttering, 'I'd love to eat a few insects', I noticed an object on the side of the river bank. It was a wage packet and it was sealed. I'd found a wage packet. Some fool had actually lost his wages and I had found them.

    Mind, then I was presented with a dillema. Had he lost his wages or had he decided he didn't want them and simply threw them away?. Being an honest sort, I knew that I should hand this wage packet to the Police for safe keeping. But, if, as I suspected he didn't want his wages and he'd chosen to throw them away, who was I to question his intentions.

    It was at this point that I decided to change my life and create my own wealth. Convinced that this fool didn't want his wages and he would have become angry with me for handing them into the Police, I decided to have what was inside the envelope.

    I stood up, had a quick peep to see whether or not I was being watched, I opened these wages that this fool clearly didn't want and following an examination of its contents, I screamed, 'The lazy basta.r.d! He had four days off'.Good Lord!

    It was at this point I decided that from hereon, I'd forget about lost wage packets, betting on uncertain outcomes and writing begging letters and instead, I'd acquire a Metal Detector.

    Im going to become a person who sweeps fields and other similar open spaces to find and appropriate precious and semi precious metals. Having given this a lot of thought Ive decided that I'll be damned if I spend days wandering about digging up old pram wheels and unwanted and discarded bottle tops. Im after Gold and Silver and there is a switch on my Metal Detector that excluded all these unwanted finds allowing me to only detect Gold and Silver.

    They found the Staffordshire hoard didn't they? Well, Im convinced there is a Hereford hoard and Im going to find it. It's out there and anyone who says it isn't is a bloody fool and someone who ain't interested in becoming fabulously wealthy.

    Mind, I ain't just going to tip up in some field, start sweeping, muttering, 'where in Gods name is it?' Im going to concentrate on areas where the bloody Saxons have stayed and perhaps buried their trinkets of gold and silver. I'll be bloody damned if I spend unnecessary hours looking for something that ain't there because the bloody Saxons had never been there in the first place.

    No, Im going to follow the evidence. I'm going to sweep areas that are known to have had the Saxons there. If I get told by some passer bye, 'the Saxons were never here', then that's good enough for me and I'll go elsewhere. I mean, there'd be no point looking in an area where the Saxons had never been.

    I want to know where the Saxons have been so that I can find the Herefordshire hoard. Mind, if some fool comes on here and responds to this codswallop and says, 'I know where the Saxons were staying and I know where they buried their hoard, Im going to be thinking, 'hi up! If he knows where it is, why hasn't he dug it up already'.

    CCTV Hereford - Edgar street/Tesco roundabout

    By Animalmad68,

    Hi Just wondering if anyone knows if there is CCTV at the junction from Edgar street where you join the roundabout ?

    My husband was hit side on as he was going around the roundabout by a car trying to get onto the roundabout from Edgar street. The other drivers ins. co. are trying to go for 50/50 blame which mystifies us. Would be really helpful to be able to get some cctv .


    Its Our County.

    By bobby47,

    I've been blogging for a number of years now and, moreoften than not, I've hurled as much bile and phlegm at this Conservative Cabinet and its got me absolutely nowhere. For my part, my issue isn't with Conservatives. Not at all! My problem is with the dynamics that exist and have existed within the Council Cabinet during these past couple of years. These strange and often odd dynamics have, I believe, brought about monumental mistakes that we may never recover from and so I've come to my own personal conclusion about which way I should go.

    As far as the Independent Councillors are concerned, particularly Councillor Glenda Vaughan Powell, I have the utmost respect for her and them. I couldn't hold Councillor Powell in any higher regard and oddly enough, it's her experiences before and after the Council Standards gathering that has convinced me which way I should jump from hereon. Because of her 'own' Independent colleagues, who Im sure are all good and kind people, diligently trying their best to serve their constituents, this lady was kicked about, mistreated and subjected to a completely unnecessary ordeal. All this was done in the name of Independent Councillors. My view was and is now, that if they, collectively can't stick together and support oneanother, how on earth are they ever going to gather together and sing from the same hymn sheet.

    It's because of this chain of events and the fact that Im tired of ranting and raving about this unholy Council Cabinet, that I've decided to support the I.O.C in anyway that I can. That support will be blogging, banging their drum and doing what I can to help them into a position where they can get a hold on a lever of power and put an end to this madness that's been bequeathed to us by Councillor Jarvis and his unfortunate successor Councillor Johnson.

    From hereon, Im going to do all I can to support the I.O.C. and I'd urge all my blogging colleagues to consider my opinion and hopefully agree with me that this is now the step to take. Putting it bluntly, because of the Glenda Powell situation and the hopelessness of our current predicament, I believe that the IOC are our only hope for some clear, commonsense and joined up thinking that hopefully will deliver us all from the chaos that's been poured all over our heads.

    My very warmest regards to you all.

    Sweet Chilli Indian Restaurant Hereford

    Victor Wright
    By Victor Wright,

    Decided to give this place a try last night and I have to be honest, we had a very very nice meal, staff were excellent, so going to order via JustEat online in the week for a treat  :Happy_32:

    Northolme Football Pitch and the madness that followed!

    By bobby47,

    Im given to understand that Councillor Glenda Powell has faced the might of the Councils Standards Board and been fully exonerated of fault and blame for the fiasco that was brought about by the Clerk to Belmont Parish Council and other serving Councillors. Im given to understand that this matter would have reached an amicable settlement sometime ago but, because of belligerence and sheer stupidity on the part of some, the chain of events and its accompanying cost to us the taxpayer could not be stopped and its only now that the entire stupidity has been brought to an end.
    I've been told by my drinking buddy that the Board were particularly critical of those who took part in this political act of mean spiritedness and its they who've lost face rather than their target Councillor Powell.
    If this is true, and I wouldn't have transmitted it if I'd not been certain, then Im pleased that this worrying burden is now lifted from Councillor Powell who hadn't done anything wrong in the first place.

    New trees for Hereford’s Edgar Street

    Colin James
    By Colin James,

    Ten European lime trees will be planted in Hereford’s Edgar Street as part of a Highways Agency scheme.

    The trees, which will be planted in the central reservation area on Thursday (21 November), are approximately six metres tall. Although the winter season is the best time for planting, the trees are in a dormant state, which is normal during this time of year.

    The tree planting will mark the near completion of the Highways Agency’s scheme to improve the A49 Edgar Street at its junction with Newmarket Street.


    The work has involved widening the A49 southbound approach to create a third lane in order to increase capacity for vehicles approaching the junction.

    A pedestrian crossing to the north of the junction on the A49 southbound approach has also been relocated closer to the roundabout.


    Kevin Harvey, Highways Agency Project Manager for the scheme, said:

    “The additional lane will increase capacity and help reduce queues on the A49 southbound approach to the junction.

    “Due to seasonal conditions, the trees that we’ll be planting are in a dormant state. However, they should begin to branch out and establish well in the spring.

    “The scheme, including renewing the traffic lights, will be completed by next weekend, subject to weather conditions.”

    The work is part of a national £317 million pinch point improvement programme, designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England. The programme is part of the UK Government’s growth initiative, outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011.


    The pinch point programme helps boost local economies and drive economic growth by providing smaller scale improvements to ease congestion and make journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters.


    Full Details

    Pontrilas election

    By flamboyant,

    Anyone got any updates on Pontrilas? I have everything crossed but nervous this is not gonna go well!

    Let's have a coalition Cabinet


    They seem to be running out of names up at Brockington Towers, if the recent announcement by Council Leader Tony Johnson is anything to go by.  He's just picked Cllr Patricia Morgan as his new Deputy, whose previous Cabinet responsibilities included the demanding portfolio of Disused Cemeteries.  In September, Cllr Morgan achieved local notoriety by treating Hereford Civic Society to an illustrated talk on rural bus shelters - even though she'd been invited along to discuss the future of Hereford city.


    When one considers that in the last 30 months Herefordshire Council has had no fewer than three Leaders and as many Deputy Leaders, memories of The Titantic and deckchairs inevitably spring to mind.


    So, casting aside the mantle of irony (I'm still smarting at being branded a mendacious oddity by the HT's Fiona Phillips), may I make a genuine proposal to Cllr Johnson which, if adopted, could greatly enhance his standing in the eyes of the county's electorate?


    Councillor: your 8-person Cabinet is, to put it tactfully, somewhat 'under-powered' in terms of commercial expertise and intellectual capacity.  But that is not to say that such skills are not available to you in abundance from many of the councillors from the other parties represented on the Council.  So why not be bold?  Create a new Cabinet, a Cabinet of all the talents - a coalition if you like - for the benefit of the whole county?  There is masses of skills and talent out there in the Council Chamber: experts on childcare, economics, housing, inward investment, sustainable transport, planning.  But it is being woefully under-used at the moment.


    This has nothing to do with the diminution of your 'power base' (that will be unaffected); but it has everything to do with representing the interests - free of the shackles of party dogma - of the whole community of Herefordshire.



    German town abolishes traffic lights

    Colin James
    By Colin James,

    German town abolishes traffic lights and codes. Accidents are now almost non-existent!


    In this fascinating public experiment, a German town wanted to see what would happen to traffic flow if they got rid of street signs, lights and other restrictions.  The results are intuitive, but not what you would expect!  Everything got safer and faster.  Would this model hold true for other areas of infrastructure?  Drivers must give way to the left and not drive too fast.  That's the only rule.  Even the police love the new system, and best of all, people are safer on the road.  Drivers are much more aware and use eye contact and instincts.  People WANT to stop for other people and help things move more efficiently.




    Full details here

    HCS - Herefordshires Local Plan - progress so far

    By megilleland,


    21st November Herefordshires Local Plan  - progress so far
    An update  and discussion with Geoff Hughes,  Director, Places and Communities Directorate, Herefordshire Council @ the Kindle Centre, (back of Asda), Hereford.
    Refreshments from 7 for 7.30 start.


    Members free admission. Visitors £3 each, refunded if you join HCS on the night.
    For more info and full list of events coming up in 2013 go to http://www.herefordcivicsociety.org.uk and click on Events.   Our Quarterly News Magazine is out now! 
    Electronic version available on our website at www.herefordcivicsociety.org.uk or please request by emailing herefordcivicsociety@hotmail.co.uk


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