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  1. Leader of Herefordshire Council, Cllr David Hitchiner, has announced changes to Cabinet Member portfolios, to take effect from 1 August 2021. Leader of Herefordshire Council, Cllr David Hitchiner Councillor Pauline Crockett will step down from Cabinet due to personal reasons, but will continue her duties as a ward member. Councillor Felicity Norman is the new Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Wellbeing, and Councillor Jenny Bartlett will continue as Cabinet Support Member. Councillor Diana Toynbee’s Children’s and Family Services portfolio returns to the full list of responsibilities which Councillor Felicity Norman had when she had this portfolio, but with the addition of Councillor Kath Hey who is appointed as an additional Cabinet Support to support Young People’s Attainment, including post-16 education, training and skills development. This additional support role is important to reflect the responsibilities that Councillor Toynbee has concerning the Improvement journey in Children’s Services and also the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and to ensure that the county’s education and skills are aligned and delivered effectively. The new Cabinet will come into effect from Sunday 1 August 2021: Councillor David Hitchiner - Leader of Herefordshire Council / Corporate strategy and budget Councillor Liz Harvey – Deputy Leader of Herefordshire Council / Finance, Corporate Services and Planning Councillor Diana Toynbee - Children’s and Family Services, and Young People’s Attainment Councillor Gemma Davies - Commissioning, Procurement and Assets Councillor Ellie Chowns – Environment and Economy Councillor Felicity Norman - Health and Adult Wellbeing Councillor John Harrington - Infrastructure and Transport Councillor Ange Tyler - Housing, Regulatory Services and Community Safety
  2. Reduce, reuse, recycle, recover – a new way for managing waste Reducing the amount of waste we produce, and reusing and recycling where possible, benefits the county and the environment, and is the aim of a new waste strategy for Herefordshire agreed at the council’s cabinet meeting today (29 July). The new waste strategy sets out the changes that will be taking place to the way that household and business waste is collected and then treated, and schemes that support and encourage a reduction in the amount of waste being produced. These include: Reduce – promoting schemes that reduce the amount we throw away such as community fridge schemes Reuse – supporting organisations that repair and reuse items, community share schemes and encouraging donations to charity Recycle – composting garden waste, supporting people to recycle more Recover – introducing a new kerbside food waste collection and producing energy from food waste The small proportion of waste remaining will only then go to landfill. The strategy also sets out changes to the black bin and recycling collections based on feedback from a resident consultation held earlier this year, when around 3,500 people told us what worked well for them and what could be improved about their kerbside collection service. A number of pilot schemes will trial these changes to see what works best, so that they can be introduced across the county in the most effective way.Cllr Gemma Davies, cabinet member commissioning, procurement and assets said: The new waste strategy, as well as the outcome of the rubbish and recycling consultation, can be found on the Herefordshire Council website.
  3. Council Tax set to rise by 4.99% as council faces long-term Covid-19 cost pressures on its budget Full Council has approved the 2021/22 budget today (12 February 2021). This includes the setting of Herefordshire Council tax rates which will come into effect from April 2021. The final budget takes into account the 2021/22 final local government finance settlement announced by central government. This includes: A new ‘Lower Tier’ Services Grant of £0.25m Revenue Support Grant funding of £0.6m New Homes Bonus funding of £1.7m Rural Services Delivery Grant of £5.3m The council is continuing to face long-term Covid-19 cost pressures on its budget. The council has looked first to find savings within its core activities to offset these costs. This has resulted in £11.2m in savings being identified across the council’s services – the largest one-year saving this council has ever had to make. Councillor Liz Harvey, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said: Council Tax funds around 29% of the council’s budget. A 4.99% total increase to Council Tax has been recommended. This is an equivalent rise of £1.51 a week for a Band D property. The increase is made from a 3% increase to the ‘adult social care precept’ and 1.99% increase to ‘core Council Tax’. In total this will provide £3.2m towards the cost of council services. Residents on a low income may be eligible for help to pay their bill through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. Some residents will continue to pay no Council Tax at all, such as young adults who have left care and, with effect from 2021, also all the council’s Foster Carer families.
  4. Herefordshire Council fixed 2,927 potholes across the county during May 2021, If you see it, report it. Their pothole app makes it quick and easy to report potholes as well as other issues 👉 http://orlo.uk/Txjqh To follow the progress of road resurfacing, drainage and repairs click here #hvroads
  5. The rainbow flag will be flown outside Herefordshire Council buildings and offices to recognise Pride month, a festival of celebration and recognition of the role played by the LGBT community. You will see these flags appearing later on the Town Hall, Plough Lane Offices and Hereford Library and Museum
  6. A planning application to build a three storey apartment building on the site of the former Sportsman Public House Land off Widemarsh Common have been submitted by Reservoir Homes Ltd. Planning Application P211931/F A previous planning application which was eventually withdrawn by Reservoir Homes Ltd was submitted back in 2018 that we reported on here
  7. Hereford Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the U92211 - Watling Street, Leintwardine in Herefordshire.
  8. Herefordshire Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the U75016 - The Glibes, Michaelchurch Escley in Herefordshire.
  9. Controlling groups merge to form new alliance Two of the groups which control Herefordshire Council have strengthened their alliance by combining to form a new political group. Herefordshire Independents and It's Our County will now be known as Independents for Herefordshire. The two parties formed a coalition with the Green Party after the elections in 2019 to run the authority. Councillor John Harrington will chair the new group and described it as "practical and progressive". He said they will work together to fight the next council elections in two years time.
  10. DfE issues non-statutory Improvement Notice following recent High Court judgment Herefordshire Council has today (Tuesday 18 May 2021) received a non-statutory Improvement Notice from the Department for Education (DfE). The notice follows significant concerns raised in a recent High Court judgement which led to an urgent and thorough external review of Herefordshire Children’s Social Care Services. The Improvement Notice includes the appointment of Gladys Rhodes White OBE as an Improvement Adviser for a minimum of 12 months, and until such time that the Secretary of State is satisfied that she is no longer required. Mrs Rhodes White will provide advice to Children’s Social Care Services and Herefordshire Council, and she will chair the Improvement Board which is being established from the beginning of June 2021. Paul Walker, newly appointed Chief Executive of Herefordshire Council said: A review of Children’s Social Care services is underway to understand and address any failings and immediate actions are being taken to deal with any serious concerns. Herefordshire Council continues to offer residents the opportunity to report a concern following their experience with its Children’s Social Care services. A dedicated team, led by the Interim Director of Children’s Services, are working through these concerns and while we seek to understand the full extent of past decisions made within Children’s Services, we regret that we may find further instances that do not meet the required standards. If you have any concerns about the way you or your family have been treated by Herefordshire Children’s Social Care services, you can contact us at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/careconcerns or email careconcerns@herefordshire.gov.uk
  11. A new car parking charge structure that has been introduced across the county today (17 May) will make it easier than ever for you to make an informed decision about where best to park your car. The new structure, which divides the price of parking into bands relative to proximity to the City or town centre, gives you the option to balance spending less on parking with a short walk, and ensures there are plenty of spaces available in the centre for short term users. Parking is now free in all market towns on Sundays and after 6pm every day, while in Hereford parking is now free after 8pm every day. Prices have been frozen at Merton Meadow in Hereford which is our largest car park out of the town centre, while prices at St Martins (swimming pool) have been reduced from £1.20 to £1.00 per hour. The off-peak hours season ticket, which allows parking in any car park between 5pm and 9am for £75 per year or £25 per quarter, has also been extended to all Market towns. The new structure, along with details of charges at each location can be found on the Herefordshire Council website. Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: Funds generated from parking charges are used to maintain local car parks, and any surplus funds provide vital contributions to other important services for local people, including school transport and public transport.
  12. Herefordshire have advised that on June 22 Home Point will launch its improved housing allocations scheme to make applying and bidding for properties easier, with more choice over the types of housing people in Herefordshire can apply for 👉 HERE
  13. At Hereford Voice our slogan has always been 'Having Your Say' and through our network we are going to give you the opportunity to ask your questions to some of our Councillors. Cabinet Member - Infrastructure and Transport Councillor John Harrington has agreed to be put under the spotlight to answer your questions in the first of our 'exclusive' Q & A sessions. Rules: Abuse will Not be tolerated and offensive comments will be deleted and may also result in that person being banned. Please ask sensible questions on any subject that Cllr Harrington maybe able to address and answer in his capacity at Herefordshire Council. Hereford Link Roads (Bypass) Turning Off Traffic Lights or making them Part-Time (Hereford Voice Campaigns) River Crossings Closure of the Old Bridge Pot Holes Maylord Orchards Shopping Centre Electric Buses Roundabouts Please ask your questions below 👇 and Councillor Harrington will answer as many as he can in a video which we will publish over the weekend.
  14. In an article written on their website The Victorian Society strongly objects to the Diocese of Hereford’s plans to demolish a historic rectory in Hereford. Photographs courtesy of the Victorian Society
  15. Herefordshire Council contractors Herefordshire Highways (Balfour Beatty Living Places) have been working collaboratively with Highways England and Kier to clear litter safely on a Highways England night closure of the A40 Monmouth bound on Friday 16th April. The teams worked through the night and removed 1100kgs of litter from the central reservation and the junction of the A4137 to the Ganarew Bridge Herefordshire.
  16. Over the next week more seating, planters & trees will be added creating a more attractive environment for residents, workers, shoppers & visitors to enjoy. Photograph courtesy of Herefordshire Council More info from Herefordshire Council 👉 http://orlo.uk/q2Fmg
  17. Statement from Claire Ward, Acting Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, Herefordshire Council Claire Ward I am upset by this judgment and deeply sorry that we have failed this family. We have neglected the needs of the children and their Carers and deprived the parents of their rights. I am saddened that our actions deprived a Mother of her right to say goodbye to her child and my deepest sympathies are with the family on their loss. We will provide the family with any required support and care to rebuild relationships and to help repair some of the damage we have done. I have taken immediate action to address the serious issues highlighted by this judgment. There is a clear need for an urgent and thorough external review of Herefordshire Children’s Social Care Services. The attitudes, culture and professional practice demonstrated in this judgment is shocking and well below the standards we expect. Appropriate action will be taken on the conclusion of our investigations, in accordance with the council’s HR procedures, any relevant professional body requirements, and the law. It is evident that our previous commitments to improve our social care services for children have fallen sadly short of the standards expected and we have failed to provide the expected and appropriate support to this family. This is indefensible. The incoming Chief Executive, Paul Walker, has been working closely with the senior management team to ensure we make real and sustainable changes to our Children’s Social Care services. We have appointed Cath Knowles as Interim Director of Children’s Services, who is a qualified and registered Social Worker, to provide professional experience, leadership and assurance for the coming months. Our Social Workers continue to do their best, often in very difficult circumstances, to support families and protect vulnerable children in our community. We will ensure our staff have the support they need and the confidence and commitment to report any concerns as we make significant and lasting improvements to Herefordshire Children’s Services. We have notified Ofsted and we are working closely with regulators and partner agencies to ensure we protect and safeguard the children of Herefordshire. We have added further reassurance measures within Children’s Services to ensure appropriate checks are undertaken for decisions relating to children in our care. The judgment also identified incorrect legal advice being given to management. This advice was plainly wrong and there have been significant changes made to the management and staff within the Children’s Legal Team to ensure processes are observed and advice is sound. I requested a Department for Education review of our Children’s Social Care services to assess whether children in care are safe in Herefordshire. This review took place last week and found no immediate actions were required on the cases they reviewed but clearly further external reviews will be required to make sure our service is fit for purpose. While we seek to understand the full extent of past decisions made within Children’s Services, we regret that we may find further instances that do not meet the required standards. If you have any concerns about the way you or your family have been treated by Herefordshire Children’s Social Care services, you can contact us at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/careconcerns or email careconcerns@herefordshire.gov.uk If you are a child or young person and need someone to talk to Childline is free, private and confidential. Call 0800 1111 or visit Childline.org.uk The Samaritans are also available any time of the day or night - call 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org
  18. Statement on behalf of Claire Ward, Clerk to the Lieutenancy of Herefordshire: “The councillors and officers of Herefordshire Council are deeply saddened at the news of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. “The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, and a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Thank you on behalf of Herefordshire to The Duke of Edinburgh for your devoted service to the UK and the Commonwealth. “Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.” Statement on behalf of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Edward Harley OBE: “I am very sad to hear the news regarding His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. “HRH has been a pillar of strength to The Monarchy, dedicating his life to supporting Her Majesty The Queen in her duties. “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has offered opportunities to thousands of young people, is just one of his many lasting legacies. “HRH has been a hugely positive and encouraging influence in so many fields. “My thoughts are with Her Majesty and all the members of The Royal Family at this very sad time.” Statement on behalf of Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Chairman of Herefordshire Council: “It is with great sadness that we observe the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time. The flags across the county are being flown at half-mast as a sign of our greatest respect, and there will be books of remembrance located throughout Herefordshire to commemorate and celebrate fond memories of Prince Philip throughout his life. “We first welcomed The Duke of Edinburgh to Herefordshire in 1957 when he accompanied the Queen on her first visit to the county as Queen and they have both visited us on several occasions since then. The last occasion was their visit on 11 July 2012 during Her Majesty’s celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, which will be a permanent memory for the people of Herefordshire. The Duke has always been such a marvellous consort to the Queen throughout the decades, helping to make the world envious of the British monarchy, which is without equal. “The Duke of Edinburgh, when a young Naval Officer stationed on Malta was introduced to Polo by Lord Mountbatten, who was a great exponent of the game and wrote a classic manual on Polo. The Duke became a fine player with a very good handicap of four. He was a member of many winning teams. After Polo, the Duke took up Carriage Driving, very successfully. He was skilled, brave and very determined and won many Championships and represented Great Britain. He drove a team of the Queen's ponies to many successes. His enthusiastic participation greatly raised the profile of Carriage Driving. “We owe The Duke a great debt of gratitude for the way he dedicated his life to be at the Queen’s side at thousands of visits in their service of our country and the whole of the Commonwealth. The way he supported the nation’s young people mature into responsible adulthood through his innovative Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was a marvellous inspiration for many young people. I know that The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme has changed, greatly for the better, the lives of thousands of young people and taught them to believe in themselves and to learn that serving other people is the greater glory. “He will be sorely missed, not only by the Royal family and his friends, but also by the nation as a whole.”
  19. 🔷 Money for bypass | Outsourcing services and Herefordshire Council's commitment to build 2,500 affordable new homes 🔷 In this final session from Councillor Harvey she answers more questions put to her from our previous topic here about money for the Western Link Road (also known as the Hereford Bypass), and why do the council often outsource services. Hereford Voice would like to thank Councillor Liz Harvey for taking the time out to answer questions and engaging in our Councillor Sessions, we hope that you have found these useful. More Councillors will be engaging with you this year as part of our 'exclusive' Hereford Voice 'Councillor Sessions' Our 'Councillor Sessions' are not limited solely to the current administration, we welcome 'Sessions' with Councillors from ALL parties representing Herefordshire. 🔜 Follow Hereford Voice for more Councillor Sessions coming soon
  20. Herefordshire Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the C1125 - C1129 to C1124, Marden in Herefordshire.
  21. 🔷 Furlough and Purchase of Maylord Orchards 🔷 In this session Councillor Harvey answers more questions about whether Council staff were furloughed and the purchase of Maylord Orchards for over £4 Million. Councillor Harvey will be answering more of the questions from our previous topic here in her final session later this week. More Councillors will be engaging with you this year as part of our 'exclusive' Hereford Voice 'Councillor Sessions' Our 'Councillor Sessions' are not limited solely to the current administration, we welcome 'Sessions' with Councillors from ALL parties representing Herefordshire. 🔜 Follow Hereford Voice for more Councillor Sessions coming soon
  22. Herefordshire Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works at Green Croft, Redhill, Hereford.
  23. Herefordshire Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the A466 to Pendiggott, Orcop, Herefordshire. Contractors have also completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the A465 to The Vroe, Rowlestone, Herefordshire.
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