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    From the declaration of a climate emergency in Herefordshire to actual action.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    On the 8th of March 2019 activists and campaigners, including many young people of Herefordshire, put pressure on elected politicians and marched on the Shire Hall demanding the council declare a climate emergency and act on climate and ecological breakdown.  

    Code Red for Humanity – Herefordshire’s Red Rebels and climate activists head for COP26 to urge world leaders for decisive action on climate change.

    Ellie Chowns, former green MEP for the West Midlands, a lecturer in international development and the cabinet portfolio holder for environment and economy and skills for Herefordshire Council, told a meeting of Friends of the Earth that moment was pivotal in Herefordshire’s journey towards net zero carbon. ‘Initially I was sceptical about a declaration, but I admit to being a convert because it gives us a framework to operate within and that framing makes all the action happen. As a council we have to continually ask ourselves: ‘how does that align with our climate emergency declaration?’  That would not have happened had it just been left with politicians – it took activists to push us to that point.’

    ‘We need to look at all the opportunities available to lay the foundations for this new, net zero, world. We have to be able to say as a council that we are building climate and ecological considerations into everything we do.’ 

    Coun Chowns said: ‘The covid recovery plan of more than £6 million has been supporting employment, health and well-being and supporting people to get into the towns to help rejuvenate the high street while giving people confidence to get out and about. A lot of councils have made parking free and that was one of the proposals that came forward. We said: ‘that doesn't really compute with our commitment to sustainable transport’, we shouldn't be subsidising car parking – we should be putting that money into buses and bikes to achieve the same thing and that is why we can now support free Beryl bikes over the weekends and during Cop26 and why we can put on free buses at weekends. We can change the way money is spent from changing support for something that doesn't work towards a net-zero world to something that does.’

    As leaders gather for the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, Coun Chowns believes Herefordshire is making really good progress, saying: ‘This is a tribute to officers, activists and our coalition of Independents and Greens - we have a fully shared agenda. There is a really strong bedrock of cross-party support for action on climate change which is really important. It is exciting that we are working cooperatively in Herefordshire. There is so much to do and of course the urgency is enormous and we are not getting any of it done quickly enough’. 

    ‘We have a really strong team of active officers on climate and sustainability in the county,’ said Coun Chowns, adding: ‘who, despite the challenges of austerity have made good progress towards reducing our carbon footprint over the years. We are on course to reduce the council’s carbon footprint by 75% by 2024/25. But there is much to do to reduce the county’s emissions as a whole, particularly in building and transport.’

    ‘As a council we recognise the long-term cost of not tackling action on climate change and we have to make some decisions that will imply slightly increased short-term costs in order to do the right thing long-term.’

    Actions the council has taken since 2019 include a standard on net-zero, affordable, social housing, a climate and ecology checklist for planning, described as soft pressure until a supplementary planning document on sustainable buildings is agreed. ‘Within planning law we can't just say you all need to conform to net zero now but we can lift the bar in our local plan and that is what we intend to do with the Core Strategy review, and as we revise the local plan we can build true sustainability into the Core Strategy where transport and housing have such a bearing on spatial planning.’ 

    Coun Chowns said that there are two big challenges for reducing the collective footprint in the Herefordshire – buildings and transport. ‘It’s all very well saying we will build our own net zero housing, but there are 85,000 existing homes in Herefordshire that provide an excellent backdrop for a potential Retrofit scheme in Herefordshire. 

    Along with free weekend buses through the Covid Recovery Fund, Herefordshire Council leaders have instigated funding for three new county carpools – including electric vehicles. ‘Electric vehicles are part of the solution but they still involve tonnes of stuff, metal etcetera, to move around 70 kg of person and it's a wasteful way to move a person around. A review is taking place of the network of cycle and walking paths around the city. While Hereford’s Greenway is fantastic, anyone who tries to cycle through the city knows that you just need to come across one car parked in a bike lane and you are stuffed, so new cycle lane guidance which says that lanes need to be physically separated from traffic is really good practice, even if it means that we have had to take current plans for a cycle lane in St Owen Street back to the drawing board,’ Coun Chowns said.  

    Electric hopper buses is a project Herefordshire City Council put forward for support by the Town’s Fund. Electric buses will circuit the town and enable people to hop on and off. ‘It's a brilliant idea, said Coun Chowns: ‘The data collected in the western bypass review was that the vast majority of journeys are done inside Hereford city or people coming into the city from outside and trying to find ways of getting around the city.’

    ‘Cancelling the bypass was a really big decision supported by nearly 500 pages of reports. A proper review had to be done because we were a new administration and we were serious about acting on the climate emergency declaration. We said that the criteria used in assessing different options needs to take climate and environmental considerations in to account - they had to be properly weighted in the decision-making because they had not been previously. I see this as the translation of a broad declaration of a climate emergency into a set of specific references for the review of a project that was going to cost around £200 million just to build a bypass and that review showed very clearly, with really strong evidence, that you could get as much congestion reduction at about a third of the price and far less environmental damage. The challenge we have now is delivering on all the other really good measures because it's still £70 million that is not floating around. The government have made a lot of noise about bus and cycling strategies but is yet to back that up with funding.’

    Whilst the council has taken great strides in reducing its own carbon footprint, Cllr Chowns said there was a lot of work to do in the county: ‘We are setting up a county-wide climate and nature partnership to bring in all stakeholders like big emitters as well as community activists to try and forward this piece of work that desperately needs to happen in the county.’

    The council is also using the dividend that it earns from the energy company it buys its energy from towards a climate reserve that is funding a new community grant scheme for small-scale community projects tackling the climate and nature emergency. A communication campaign will address behaviour change in the wider community and a Climate Assembly will convene in January 2022 which will include a properly represented sample of Herefordshire residents to come up with proposals that the administration can support at the budget meeting. ‘Participatory budgeting,’ said Cllr Chowns, ‘is really exciting and it will happen in Herefordshire and shows our commitment to trying to do politics a little bit differently.’

    Belmont Medical Centre telephone bookings

    By megilleland,

    I have been trying to book an appointment at the Surgery on the telephone since 08:00 this morning, but as of yet been unable to speak to a human being. You obviously are in a queue so you are asked to dial 5 for a ring back. The phone rings but no one answers at the other end. Has anyone else had this problem? 

    I got my partner's daughter to ring from her home in Oxford at 08:30 today and she got straight through and has told me the surgery will call me back this morning. I hope so.

    Cabinet approves new 80-bed care home

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    New care home facility will support the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in the county

    Herefordshire Council will be developing a new 80-bed care home in the county following a Cabinet decision on Thursday 28 October.

    Demographic changes and the development of the local care home market is set to add to the pressure on existing capacity because of increasing numbers of older and disabled people with complex needs.

    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of a privately run care home due to flood damage, Herefordshire Council opened the Hillside Care Centre in 2020.

    The plan is for the new facility to offer a high-quality care environment, maximising the use of advanced technology to support the needs of residents.

    Potential sites will now be explored, including consulting with key stakeholders and developing the business plan.

    Cllr Pauline Crockett, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Wellbeing, said:


    “I’m delighted that approval has been granted for a new care home facility which will support the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

    “Care homes play a vital role in the community, and this development will provide an opportunity to connect care and support services more effectively.”


    Hereford City Life Announce Line up for Xmas Entertainment in City

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A 'Christmas Spectacular' of world class walkabout performers, live bands and the ‘Hereford Gift Card Golden Ticket Treasure Hunt’ are just some of the exciting plans lined up for Hereford this December, promises Mike Truelove, Chief Executive for Hereford City Life, a brand created by the Hereford Business Improvement District (Hereford BID) to promote Hereford.


    Mike added "following last years' difficult Christmas, Hereford BID has worked closely with the City Council to put on wow factor entertainment around the city that will include acts such as iGlobot - a giant walking robot that children will love, Nanook the wondering Polar Bear with his special friend, Xania the Ice Fairy, or Mysterian, the famous street magician.

    In combination with a program of live music, FREE parking on late night Wednesdays and an attractive regional shopping experience, there is every reason to come to Hereford this year - it will be tremendous fun that people will not want to miss".

    Herefordshire Council, from consultation with Hereford BID, Hereford City Council and Old Market will put on FREE parking on late night shopping nights during the last 3 Wednesdays before Christmas Day which are Wednesday 8th, 15th, and 22nd December.

    FREE parking is offered after 4pm in all Council 'Pay & Display' car parks in the city centre including Maylord Shopping Centre, Old Market Shopping Centre and on-street parking. Friar Street and private car parks are excluded from this offer.

    The 'light switch on' in Hereford will take place in the City Centre on Sunday 21st November, but for safety reasons there will be no official ceremony or time and they will come on gradually as installers set them up. Steve Kerry, Clerk to the City Council said "our priority is to ensure the public are kept safe and not encourage large gatherings. Councillors have taken the difficult decision to simply switch the lights on given the huge numbers we would normally see for this event. In future years we look forward to returning to a more traditional Christmas switch on - but for now, the public can still enjoy the stunning displays the City Council have invested in". The Old Market is also following a similar plan with their lights going on the same day.

    More detailed information on the Christmas events line-up for Hereford will follow over the coming weeks and can be found on Hereford City Life's social and web pages (www.herefordcitylife.co.uk)


    News | Man jailed for sexual offences against a child

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A man has been jailed for sexual offences against a child in South Herefordshire


    Ricky Powis, 42, of Three Crosses Road, Ross-on-Wye, was sentenced to six years in prison at Worcester Crown Court on Friday 22 October.

    He was also given a sexual harm prevention order.

    Powis’ victim was known to him and several offences took place during 2019.

    Following an investigation, he was arrested, subsequently charged and after a trial was convicted of sexual activity with a child under 16.

    Detective Constable Katie Parry said: “We are very grateful to the victim and her family for their help during our investigation."

    The Victim Advice Line is a free and confidential service for victims
    and anyone who has been affected by crime and needs support.

    Freephone: 0800 952 3000
    Email: info@victimadviceline.org.uk
    Web (including Live Chat): www.victimadviceline.org.uk

    Not The Best Way To Transport Loft Insulation

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    West Mercia Police vehicle operation with Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency and HMRC.

    7 x drivers reported, 7 x vehicles prohibited. 1 x £500+ fine for illegal use of red diesel.

    Below driver was hoping to stay warm and cosy with the roof down! Loft insulation was dangerously insecure and obscuring drivers visibility.


    Another Successful Duck Pond Clean Up Day Today

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Positive Hereford | Fabulous day again at our Hereford Duck Pond Clean Up Event and thank you to everyone who turned out!

    Lots of good people came and got stuck in!

    After we cleaned the weeds

    We would like to thank the Mayor of Hereford Paul Stevens for his brilliant contribution today as well as Sue Cockroft, Kelly, Emma from Hereford Community Clean Up Group, Corden Smith and his lovely daughter, Andrew Bowley, Keith Marston and his family, Doug Sim, Cllr. Cat Hornsey, Elaine Underwood, Pauline Crockett and all the other lovely people who helped with today's wonderful achievement, here are just a few before and after pictures.

    Doug Sim and Andrew Bowley litter picking duck pond style! 

    Next Spring is the next clean up weekend, possibly end of April

    Raw Sewage in our Rivers.. 💩

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Sewage is discharged into rivers across the UK and Ireland on a daily basis. This isn’t an isolated problem; it occurs up and down the country, affecting urban city centre rivers and pristine chalk streams alike.

    This map below shows where the sewerage network discharges treated effluent and overflows of untreated effluent and storm water into rivers in England & Wales. Avoid entering the water immediately downstream of these discharges and avoid the overflows (brown circles), especially after it has been raining.


    The 'brown circles' represent sewer storm overflows and emergency overflows in the River Wye which have monitoring equipment (Event Duration Monitoring) installed to record how often they discharge. The bigger the circle the more spills have occured.

    Sewer storm overflows (also called combined sewer overflows or CSOs) are designed to relieve the pressure on the combined rainfall and sewerage network during heavy rainfall, preventing flooding of streets and houses. CSOs discharge the excess rainwater mixed with raw sewage straight in to rivers or sea, bypassing the wastewater treatment process temporarily. Therefore it is advised to avoid entering the water directly downstream of these discharge points, especially after rainfall.

    Many wastewater treatment works have large storm tanks, which collect this untreated sewage and rainwater before it enters the river, and then treat it later, once the water levels in the treatment works have dropped. Pumping station emergency overflows are designed to operate only when equipment or power failure occurs, so they should not operate due to heavy rainfall.

    Shocked by this map and want to do something about it? Please follow our unique link ➡️ https://hfd.news/d66

    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.

    Launching Today | HEREFORD LIVE

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Launching Today | 'HEREFORD LIVE'


    After months of work behind the scenes today we are pleased to announce 'HEREFORD LIVE'

    LIVE FEED https://hfd.news/k17

    Hereford Voice have completely sponsored Hereford's first LIVE HD Webcam from the heart of of fabulous city!

    Check out the panoramic view of The Victoria Bridge and the River Wye hosted by our good friends at The Pavilion, Castle Green in Hereford.

    Part of the Skyline network of high definition panoramic webcams scattered around the world with the sole goal of promoting tourism, art and culture!

    Statistics | You will be able to see how many people are online libe as well as how many visitors there have been viewing our fantastic city.

    Web | www.herefordlive.uk

    Host | https://www.castlegreenpavilion.co.uk

    If you have a great view in Herefordshire that you would like to share and are interested in having a LIVE webcam sponsored by Hereford Voice please get in touch.

    Premium | If you would like to view any of the cameras on the network it is completely FREE but there is just one 5 second advert however, for a small fee of €9.50 per year you can go Premium. The Premium option allows access to features and services that will render your navigation experience on SkylineWebcams more exciting.

    With Premium you can explore the site without ads, view webcams in Full Screen mode, quickly access your favourite webcams, take pictures and share them on the site, communicate with other users thanks to the chat, travel from one corner of the globe to another in just a few seconds with the interactive map and the search engine.

    Hereford city centre pub sold by Sidney Phillips

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The Exchange, a traditional free house situated in Hereford city centre has been sold through licensed property specialist Sidney Phillips.


    The Exchange is an attractive Georgian property dating back to the early 19th Century set in the main pedestrianised centre of the city. It stands adjacent to the Old Market Development which has recently brought many other main restaurant chains to Hereford, enlivening this area of the city. The Exchange is now well positioned on a main drinking circuit and experiences a high level of footfall as a result.

    The property offers a traditional open plan ground floor bar, first floor function room and surprisingly large owners accommodation spread across the first to third floors, with rear trade courtyard in addition.

    The outgoing operators have owned the property for the past 22 years as a purely wet business, popular during the day and especially during the evening.

    The premises has been purchased by a local buyer, who will be retaining it as a licenced premises. There are plans to undertake a full refurbishment, ready for reopening in the coming months.

    A Time Tour of Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    We received this absolutely wonderful creative short film from James Fox back in 2018, looking at different parts of Hereford over the last few years and centuries. This is brilliant!

    Thank you James Fox for sending us your work, we love it!

    📣 News | Contactless Purchase Limit Increases Tomorrow from £45 to £100 💳

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Contactless Limit Increases to £100


    The maximum amount was increased from £30 to its current level at the start of the pandemic, and plans to raise it further were announced in the Budget.

    The pandemic accelerated a move away from cash, with shoppers often being encouraged to use contactless in many stores to reduce close contact between staff and customers. Nearly two-thirds of all debit card transactions are made via the tap-and-go technology.

    The decision to raise the upper limit from £45 to £100, breaking away from EU-wide limitations, was made by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority in the wake of a public consultation and discussions with banks and the retail sector.

    UK Finance, the body representing banks, said the rollout would begin on 15 October, with some retailers accepting the higher payments straight away.

    It said terminals would need to be updated, and that it would take “some time” for the £100 limit to be available at all checkouts.

    If you are worried about misuse, check with your bank / banking app as some will allow you to set a cap or limit, or to deactivate the contactless option completely.

    JOURNEY TO YOUR CENTRE – THE ART OF MEDITATION Thursday 7 October – Wednesday 3 November

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Cathedral will be hosting an exhibition of abstract pictures exploring meditation this Autumn.


    Journey To Your Centre – The Art of Meditation explores the practice of stilling, in order to experience the presence of God's love within. The exhibition by Bath based visual artist, Stephen Magrath will consist of eight different artworks which can provoke contemplation and reflection. Creating the paintings, which often feature circles and repeated pattern, acts as a meditative process for the artist and invites the viewer to centre themselves and discover inner peace.

    Stephen is an art teacher and meditation group leader who has exhibited his work nationwide. His work is motivated by an interest in health and a desire to contribute to the creative, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of himself and others in his community. He has qualifications in Social Psychology, Fine Art and Art Therapy and his work is in various collections including Wellcome Images, the University of Bath and Royal United Hospital Bath.

    Stephen Magrath, said: “This series of paintings and drawings are about inner movement towards an experience of peace, harmony and wholeness. Although essentially abstract they employ external geometric forms such as spheres, spirals and grids. I have worked up my designs on a variety of papers using graphite, ink, watercolour and marker pens.”

    The Revd Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor at Hereford Cathedral, said: “We are delighted to be able to host this exhibition of pictures that focuses us on the practice of meditation.  In a world where there is so much distraction, noise, busyness and loss of spiritual repose, it is vital that we all find help in ‘returning to the centre’.  So many of the problems of the present age will only be healed when the human spirit is healed and at peace.  This exhibition presents us with a way of meditating that can bring us to the source of that healing.”

    Journey To Your Centre – The Art of Meditation will be on display in the North Transept of the cathedral from Thursday 7 October – Wednesday 3 November 2021 during normal cathedral opening hours.


    Event | A Fabulous Evening with Ian Rivers 🚣‍♂️ rowsentinel

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    An insightful and exciting evening with Guinness World Record holder Ian Rivers.


    Join Ian Rivers on 19th November 2021 from 6.30pm for an inspiring and thrilling evening.

    In May 2021 Ian Rivers embarked on a solo unsupported row across the North Atlantic from New York to the Isles of Scilly. Using only a sextant as the main form of navigation, this 3,100 nautical mile crossing tested human endurance, navigation and seamanship to the absolute limit. He has become the first Guinness World Record holder for rowing unsupported solo from New York.

    We followed Ian and Sentinel from the beginning and wow what a journey it was!

    A fabulous adventure, full of twists and turns and some terrifying force 10 storms too, Ian is not only a brave man he was clearly very determined and completed his task, making history and becoming a 'Guiness World Record' Holder!

    The row was designed to raise money for the Special Air Service Regimental Association (SASRA) and St Michael's Hospice - Hereford, whilst also raising awareness of the mental health challenges facing serving and veteran personnel.

    Spend an evening finding out about this remarkable man, and even have the opportunity to ask questions.

    What's On

    • 6.30pm – Welcome drink and ‘Sentinel’ boat on display
    • 7.00pm – Two-course meal *Curry & naan bread followed by lemon meringue pie
    • 7.45pm – An interview with Ian Rivers
    • 8.45pm – Charity auction
    • 9.00pm – Q&A with Ian Rivers
    • 9.15pm – Event ends

    Date | Friday 19th November 2021 - 6.30pm - 9.15pm

    Venue | Bartestree Village Hall, Ledbury Road, Bartestree, Herefordshire HR1 4BY

    Tickets are limited so we would suggest booking early to avoid disappointment - £25

    Book here 👉 https://www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/.../an-evening.../

    Free onsite parking

    #HerefordVoice | #HVEvent | #HerefordNews

    Belmont Parish Councillors Planting Bluebell Bulbs Early Today

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Community | Belmont Parish Councillors and Herefordshire County Councillor Tracy Bowes, have been up early this morning planting 500 bluebell bulbs, daffodils and trees on Jubilee Field in Belmont.

    They still have lots of daffodils and snowdrops to plant.

    243817539_340038851229581_6408691606191382442_n.jpg.c4a14f4a8cd6109125ba8a12ba2d056d.jpg 244016675_2169840246501933_569630466137898779_n.jpg.6c79603d103371e5b5becd071f9547d9.jpg 

    244683704_908140550125185_4844276281729104886_n.jpg.5e358ae600e1ef78ef157c41f10f88dd.jpg 244482485_572871500728405_7840151114679747069_n.jpg.454a8ec914e4d95fd7c6ad1930f846a9.jpg

    Well done to everyone involved. 👏


    Herefordshire Bridge Forced To Close After Being Hit By Vehicle

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Traffic & Travel | EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURE C1122 - MARDEN - Laystone Bridge, road closed for safety after a vehicle hit the bridge, see images below ⬇️



    Tanners Wines Named National Wine Retailer Runner Up

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Congratulations to Tanners Wines who have been named National Wine Retailer runner up in the Decanter Awards 


    “We're thrilled to be named Runner Up in such a prestigious category”, said James Tanner, chairman. “This is a testament to the hard work from all of the Tanners team. It means so much to us!"

    Tanners Wines have branches in Hereford, Shrewsbury, Chester, Bridgnorth, Llandudno and Welshpool.

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