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    Jesse Norman Signs United States and United Kingdom Conclude Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Agreement enhances trade facilitation and security cooperation

    LONDON - The United States and the United Kingdom concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) today to further enhance bilateral efforts to secure and facilitate lawful trade. U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson and The Rt. Hon. Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, signed the agreement in London.

    U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson and The Rt. Hon. Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, signed the agreement in London.

    “The United Kingdom has been an indispensable trade partner of the United States for more than two centuries,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan. “This new agreement will further enhance the U.S.-UK partnership by improving information sharing, strengthening the enforcement of our customs laws, and bolstering supply chain security while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade.”

    “The Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement will expand our efforts to secure and protect our nation’s borders through the timely and crucial sharing of investigative information,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony Pham. “We value our strong partnership with the United Kingdom and the collaborative effort to prevent, detect, and investigate customs offenses and crimes associated with goods crossing international borders.”

    “Every single day, the U.S. and the UK work side by side to stop criminals trafficking illegal goods across the Atlantic - from guns, to drugs, to illegal wildlife products and even counterfeit medicine," said U.S. Ambassador to the UK Robert Wood Johnson. "This Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement means that after Brexit, our investigators can keep sharing information to stop criminals in their tracks and keep people in both our countries safe.”

    “This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit, and demonstrates the strength of the US-UK customs relationship,” said The Rt. Hon. Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. “This deal will allow us to continue to cooperate in combatting customs offences by sharing information and good practice, and provides the legal underpinning for schemes to ease trade flows for importers and exporters.”

    CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries that are enforced by their respective customs administrations. The agreements provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering and terrorism-related activities.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are the implementing agencies for the United States.

    For more information about CMAAs, please visit CBP.gov.

    Malvern Winter Glow

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Malvern Winter Glow is a dazzling NEW outdoor illuminations trail, made from dramatic light installations, so wrap up warm and prepare to be spellbound by an extravaganza of light.

    Photo courtesy of Doug Sim

    Some evenings are selling out fast but there are still dates available for you to book until 3 January. Scroll to the bottom of the page for sold out dates.

    About Malvern Winter Glow

    Enjoy a magical journey of discovery and marvel at the dramatic light installations, inspired by the area’s natural landscape, history and heritage.

    Tickets are available in advance with timed entry sessions (selected at the time of booking) and limited to just 10 sessions per night. The trail is around a mile long and is over mixed terrain including tarmac and grass so please wear appropriate footwear.

    As numbers are limited, visitors can take the time to wander and explore and to take that all important Christmas selfie!

    Please note this event is advanced tickets only - Adult tickets are £16 each, children aged 3 to 16 tickets are £11 each and under 3s go free.

    Visitors can book their preferred entry time with the first session starting at 4.40pm.

    The inaugural light extravaganza promises to enchant visitors and if you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of Santa!

    Food and Drink

    A range of seasonal food and drink vendors will be on hand to add festive cheer to the evening. Click here to see what food and drink stands will be at Malvern Winter Glow.

    Full details and tickets can be found on the Three Counties Showground Website 

    Positive News: Restoring the curved walled garden at Berrington Hall Herefordshire

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Berrington hall is embarking on urgent conservation work in the curved garden thanks to the DCMS Culture Recovery Fund. This work will be carried out on the original eighteenth-century walls within the curved garden; 'Capability' Brown's final masterpiece and the only one of its kind to survive the centuries intact. Although the wider garden project is on pause for now, read on to discover more about the work we will be carrying out in 2020 and 2021.

    Berrington’s walled garden and pleasure grounds was the final landscape masterpiece of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Commissioned in 1775, the curved walled garden is the only one of its kind to survive and thanks to our supporters, they are now able to begin the urgent restoration work needed to save this unique vestige of Georgian garden design.

    The rare curved walled garden at Berrington Hall - Image courtesy of Berrington Hall

    What is happenening in the garden?

    From Wednesday 28 October, work began to carefully and sensitively deconstruct the existing and former farmyard buildings in the curved walled garden. These buildings are having a detrimental impact on the original eighteenth century curved wall. This work is necessary to ensure the brickwork does not continue to deteriorate and that this internationally significant garden is preserved for generations to come. This work will continue until mid-November. The wider garden project is on pause for now, but this vital element of the conservation work has been made possible by the DCMS Culture Recovery Fund. We're very grateful to DCMS for supporting this project and allowing us to save 'Capability' Brown's final curved walled garden and the only one of its kind to survive the centuries intact. The curved garden will be closed during this time, but you’ll be able to see the work in action from a designated viewing area.

    From 16 November until mid-March 2021, work begins on urgent repair work and conservation of the curved garden walls. This work will be taking place inside the curved garden itself, but you will be able to see some of the brick work repairs in action from the kitchen garden.

    Come and see the project unfold on your next visit and rediscover the gardens, whether it’s for health and wellbeing or encountering enchanting seasonal displays. Although much of our work has been put on hold for now, our long-term plan is to revive and reimagine the walled garden and pleasure grounds, developing the space to showcase creative arts, high horticulture and community engagement to create a 21st century vision for an 18th century garden. 

    As a conservation charity, they rely on the support of visitors to ensure that they can carry out these large scale projects to keep places like Berrington here for everyone, for ever. Contact a member of the team about how you can get involved and support the project on your next visit. 

    Full details can be found HERE

    Hereford's £9 Million state-of-the-art Cyber Quarter now complete

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Construction is now complete on the £9 million state-of-the art Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security with the building officially handed over by contractor, Speller Metcalfe.


    When the new centre officially opens in spring 2021 on Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone, Herefordshire will be home to the UK’s leading centre of excellence in cyber security, supporting innovation and industry in this growing sector.

    The centre is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council and part-funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, via the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

    Despite work being temporarily halted on the site due to pandemic lockdown restrictions in March, Speller Metcalfe carried out a phased return with a reduced workforce, in line with revised protocols and protective measures enabling progress.

    The new building, designed by Birmingham based Associated Architects, has generated 80% spend locally within 30 miles of the project which includes subcontractors Folbig Fabrications, Hereford Asbestos Services, Herefordshire Council Building Control and Quickskip, based close to the site at Rotherwas.Councillor David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said:



    “The centre is a key investment to support the creation of high-income, knowledge-based jobs in the county.

    “We are already home to a highly regarded cyber economy, and the knowledge, expertise and opportunities that the centre brings will help to establish Herefordshire as one of the capitals of the cyber security sector.”


    Mandy Thorn is Chair of the Marches LEP, which invested £2.82m of Local Growth Funding into the project. She said:



    “Despite the challenges 2020 has brought, it is fantastic to see this amazing building completed and nearly ready to open its doors to businesses in the new year.  

    “The new centre will not only be home to growing businesses engaged in cyber security solutions but will also deliver support and cyber insight to thousands of businesses both in Herefordshire and across the wider Marches region.”


    Zone Chairman, Andrew Manning Cox, said:



    “This is a trail-blazing project which will boost investment on Skylon Park while supporting businesses to protect themselves from hacking and data disruption.

    “The expertise and specialist focus of the centre will be part of a wider, growing campus of cyber sector companies based within the Cyber Quarter on Skylon Park.”


    Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said:



    “We’ve seen from the success of our recent Cyber Fringe Festival that there’s an ever growing appetite to ensure that cyber research and skills is a priority for businesses across the globe.

    “The University will provide significant resources for research and development through our Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI) which is developing and leading an International Cyber Knowledge Hub to tackle threats in cyberspace.

    “Focus will be on providing expertise in relation to security for critical national infrastructure – particularly in terms of healthcare, transport and our physical environment including power grids, water networks and the nuclear industry.

    “The shared facilities will also allow private sector businesses to benefit from the university’s networks and expertise as well as make use of the centre’s specialist training rooms and laboratory spaces.”


    Adrian Speller, Technical Director of constructor Speller Metcalfe, said:



    “As well providing a catalyst hub for the ongoing development of the cyber economy, the building is also hugely sustainable. This includes high levels of airtightness, a ‘fabric first’ approach and low embodied carbon, all of which will contribute to lower running costs and reduced carbon footprint over the building’s lifespan.  

    “Having personally grown up in Herefordshire, it’s been fantastic to work with the project partners to construct a building that has generated significant social return on investment through its delivery.”


    Warren Jukes, Director at Associated Architects, said:



    “The new building is highly sustainable and includes an atrium roof of glue-laminated timber beams.

    “The timber hybrid structure of the building has stored 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, CO2e, in its construction; a steel/concrete equivalent would have emitted 563 tonnes of CO2e, it’s an outcome of which we are extremely proud.”


    Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security will offer a package of tailored security testing, training, Research & Development and sector expertise to businesses and investors.

    Supported by the university’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI), the centre will also be home to 16 cyber SMEs and well as offering product testing and certification, CPD and short courses and cyber conferences like the recent Cyber Fringe Festival attracting experts from across the globe. 

    The 2,000 square metre building will provide significant resources for research and development across three cyber laboratories, advanced training facilities as part of the University’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute and additional business space for up to 16 cyber companies.

    The centre, which secured £2.82m of funding via the Marches LEP’s Growth Deal with Government in 2017, is part of the new Cyber Quarter at Skylon Park, already home to numerous defence and security sector businesses.

    The new centre incorporates a full height glass atrium to provide a dual break-out space and function hall, alongside the main three storey building that houses business suites, innovation rooms, IT workshops and a ‘Cyber Range’ – a cutting edge facility that will defend against the global rise of hacking.

    Anyone interested in courses offered or businesses looking for incubation space can find out more about the Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security on the website. 


    Home Office weapons surrender initiative

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Lawful owners of certain weapons can begin to surrender them to the police from today as part of a three month scheme launched by the Home Office.


    The weapon surrender scheme runs from today, Thursday 10 December 2020 until Tuesday 9 March 2021, where those owning particular weapons can hand them over to police and submit a compensation claim from the Home Office.

    The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 contains measures to make it unlawful to possess certain offensive weapons– including rapid firing rifles and specific types of knives such as flick knives and zombie knives.

    West Mercia Police will be accepting offensive weapons – those detailed in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 - at front counters at the following police stations; Kidderminster, Redditch, Worcester, Hereford, Telford and Shrewsbury.

    Those with legally held firearms that are affected are being contacted directly by the Firearms licencing unit with specific instruction on surrender and compensation.

    Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said: “Supporting this Home Office initiative is part of our commitment to tackling violence together with our partners and the public. It is only by working together that we will reduce violence including street violence and domestic abuse.

    “For those weapons that are not detailed in the Offensive Weapons Act, there will also be knife bins at every station so they can be deposited safely.”

    If you have information about someone you suspect to be in possession of an illegal weapon, you can contact West Mercia Police through the 101 number or via our website. Any information received is always dealt with in the strictest confidence.

    If you have information but don’t want to speak to police, then you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website Crimestoppers-UK.org They are 100% anonymous and totally independent of the police. They never ask your name, they cannot trace your call or I.P address and no one ever knows that you’ve passed on information.

    Young people can find advice by visiting Fearless.Org Full details on the Home Office surrender scheme can be found here.

    Police warning over fake professional beggars in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    It may be the season of good will but please consider that everything may not be as it seems.


    In recent weeks Hereford Cops (Hereford city SNT) has seen an influx of Romanian Nationals who are begging and claiming to be homeless and hungry.

    On making enquiries the Police have established that these individuals are part of a travelling group of beggars from South Wales.

    Police have also today removed 3 Romanian nationals from the City Centre again claiming to be homeless and begging.

    CCTV tracked these individuals to a waiting vehicle where they were spoken to and established they are all housed in Boston, Lincolnshire and have travelled to Hereford to beg.

    Please!!!! If you want to give money to the homeless please consider doing so through a registered charity otherwise you should consider that your “donation” to some of those on the streets may not be used for the purpose it was intended.

    Source: Hereford Cops

    Drink Driver Sent £500 to Leominster Central Bakery After Crash

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Joe William Stafford pleaded guilty to being over the legal limit with 89 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath (legal limit is 35) when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford this week.


    Police were called after receiving reports that a motorist had driven the wrong way along a one-way street and had crashed into the Central Bakery in Leominster before fleeing the scene back in November which we reported here.

    We have been advised that Mr Stafford had sent the bakery and a letter of apology along with a cheque for £500.

    Magistrates in Hereford disqualified Stafford from driving for 18 months and fined him £326 with costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge which he must pay.

    Hannah Lewis who is a director of the bakery has been in touch with us and she has informed us that the police have not been in touch to inform her of the court case and merely took a statement over the phone. A police officer arrived the following day (5th of November) asking her to sign her statement but she is very disappointed not to have heard back from the police since.

    Hannah also told us that she had received a letter from Mr Stafford along with a cheque for £500 and has repeatedly asked for advice from the police about this but is very disappointed that she has yet not received a single reply.

    Calandras Menswear Celebrating 10 Years Trading in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Massive congratulations to our good friend Giovanni Calandra who is today celebrating 10 years of trade in Church St, Hereford with his fabulous store Calandras Menswear.

    Calandras Menswear Church Street Hereford.

    In Giovanni's own words;


    'Here’s to the future and many more years of trade in the greatest city on earth Hereford'

    We couldn't have said it any better!!

    Now is the perfect time to pop in if you're looking for that special gift for Christmas..

    Road Resurfacing at Green Croft Hereford Rescheduled Until 2021

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Resurfacing works scheduled to take place between Wednesday, 16 December and Friday the 18 December along Green Croft, Redhill Hereford have now been postponed. 


    The works have been rescheduled to take place during the school half term week of Monday, 15 February 2021.

    Unpaid carers - Unseen and undervalued

    By megilleland,

    Unpaid carers save UK state £530 million every day of the pandemic

    With every day of the COVID-19 pandemic that passes, unpaid carers are saving the UK state £530 million in the care they provide, new research by charity Carers UK shows.

    The research, released for Carers Rights Day, estimates that the care provided by people looking after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends during the pandemic stands at £135 billion so far, after just eight months.

    Previous research by the charity found that the majority (81%) of carers have been taking on more care since the start of the pandemic and nearly two thirds (63%) are worried about how they will continue to manage over winter.

    Carers UK is calling on the Government to provide additional support for carers over winter and ensure those caring for more than 50 hours a week get access to a funded break.

    With many crucial face-to-face support services such as day centres and support groups significantly reduced – or in many cases closed – because of costly infection and control measures, Carers UK is warning that people caring round the clock are going to break down after months of caring without respite.


    Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind at £66.15 per week. We want to see Carer’s Allowance significantly increased for all carers in the UK.

    Find out more
    You can read more about the challenges faced by carers during the coronavirus outbreak in our report, Caring behind closed doors: six months on (October 2020), here.

    Back in April 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also released our original, Caring behind closed doors (April 2020), which you can read here.

    You can find information and advice about caring during the coronavirus outbreak here.

    Here's some festive Christmas Cheer to brighten your day.

    By megilleland,

    Here is a pick me up for all those people locked down and in need of getting back to normality.




    Long Service Certificate Awarded to John Nicholls for 30 Years in Fire Service

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A huge congratulations to firefighter John Nicholls. This week he was presented with his 30 year service award.


    John joined Kingsland fire station in June 1990 and has given 24 hour “on call” availability throughout his long career.

    A fantastic achievement. Well done John

    130994497_3530423587051584_8104681576987896936_o.thumb.jpg.4d42cf9a966b4606e5850a540baf2816.jpg 130994420_3530423330384943_5799283720372056380_n.jpg.942edab1b25ca8fb8198674ce78d9477.jpg

    #herefordnews #positivehereford



    Building fire and chemical spill at Special Metals Hereford.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service have been at the scene of the fire at Special Metals in Holmer Road Hereford since late this afternoon with support from Leominster Fire Station crews.


    A woman has sadly died after crashing into a bridge in Herefordshire.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Emergency services responded to reports of a serious accident in Moreton-on-Lugg early this afternoon.


    A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said:


    "We were called at 1.41pm to a bridge near the railway crossing on Moreton on Lugg.

    "An ambulance, paramedic officer and a Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS) BASICS emergency doctor attended and arrived to find a car which had collided with a bridge.

    "The driver, a woman, was being given CPR by an off-duty nurse.

    "Sadly nothing could be done to save the woman and she was confirmed dead a short time later on scene."


    New Fruit & Veg Retail Store to Open at Alban House Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A planning application has been submitted to Herefordshire Council for consent of an advertisement sign at 16 High Town, Alban House Hereford.

    'Cherries & Berries of Herefordshire' a new retail store at Alban House will sell fruit and vegetables.


    Birmingham-based property developer Elevate Property Group redeveloped the Grade II listed buildings destroyed by a devastating fire in October 2010. This unit before the fire was previously occupied by the Card Factory and prior to that, was The Link phone shop.

    Leominster sports centre set up as a clinic for Coronavirus vaccination from next week.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Herefordshire is one of the first area's outside of hospitals to offer the vaccine as part of the national roll out.

    Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster will initially receive 975 doses next Monday with the elderly and vulnerable being vaccinated first. Those people will be invited to attend for their inoculation either by letter or text message.


    Once people have had their first vaccination, they will make an appointment to return for their second dose around 3 weeks later.

    Appeal after fatal collision in Moreton-on-Lugg

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision at Moreton-on-Lugg, Hereford, where a woman sadly died.


    At around 1.50pm on Tuesday 8 December a Nissan Micra was travelling along the C1120 towards the A49 when the collision occurred.

    Police Sergeant Andy Wortley said: “The vehicle was travelling along the road when it was in collision with a bridge which crosses over the River Lugg.

    “While investigations are on-going to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident, we are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has dash cam footage to come forward.”

    Sadly, the driver, who was in her 80s and the only occupant in the vehicle, died at the scene and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very difficult time.

    Anyone with information or footage is asked to report it here on the West Mercia Police website or call 101 quoting incident 301i of 8 December or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

    A car caused considerable damage to Central Bakery in Leominster

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The vehicle crashed into the main entrance.


    Other vehicles in the area also suffered damage. Early reports indicate that the driver failed to stop.

    In a message on their FB page Central Bakery wrote


    "Despite the drama this afternoon/evening....the shop will still be open tomorrow at 8am until 2pm as usual.

    We will not been beaten..#justcarryonregardless

    Thank you for all your kind wishes and help. We appreciate it"

    In light of this challenge to their business in these extraordinary times, it is wonderful to hear such a 'positive' response from the bakery. Well done to their team and we wish you good luck in the future.

    #herefordvoice #positiveleominster #herefordshire

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