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  1. Council agrees ambitious new recycling and waste plans Changes made for a greener future Residents and business owners across Herefordshire will be provided with new rubbish and recycling collection arrangements from late 2023. The news follows a decision made by our cabinet members today (Thursday 25 November 2021). The changes include a new weekly food waste collection service and a fortnightly, seasonal garden waste collection service. Currently, 40 per cent of the contents of residual waste (black bins) could be recycled. We are planning to meet stringent environmental targets identified in our waste strategy and we are introducing the service after residents told us in a consultation on collection options that more needs to be done to help increase recycling. ♻️ New rubbish and recycling collections being introduced from late 2023 The enhanced service, providing much more recycling capacity, comprises the following collection “streams”, which will improve both the quantity and quality of recycling: ♻️ New bin. Paper and cardboard will be collected separately in new 240-litre wheelie bins ♻️ Existing green bin. Metals (tins and cans), most plastics (pots, tubs, trays and bottles) and glass ♻️ Existing black bin. Anything that cannot be recycled or put into food waste ♻️ Food waste. We will provide all households with a new, 23-litre food caddy and liners ♻️ Garden waste bin. Residents can opt for a seasonal garden waste collection Herefordshire Council wrote, we will work with managing agents, residents associations and people who live in flats to ensure they have a service that reflects their needs and provides maximum opportunities for them to recycle. As is currently the case, larger families, families using disposable nappies and those with medical needs will still receive additional capacity. These are considered on a case by case basis. The cabinet also agreed changes to our waste disposal contract that will see a 95 per cent reduction in waste being sent to landfill to just one per cent from April 2022. Welcome news News of the new waste arrangements was welcomed by Cllr Gemma Davies: “We have listened to our residents who told us they wanted more opportunities to recycle. Our new system provides more capacity to recycle from 2024. We know that for people living in flats or for larger families this will not be easy. We also will be looking for ways to help people in those circumstances and will say more about that in the future. “This is just one part of our ambitious plans for helping people to reuse more, recycle more and waste less. I am also very pleased to have secured savings on our waste disposal contract and greater protection for when recyclers want to send materials outside of Europe. I am delighted that we will be achieving a 95 per cent reduction in waste going to landfill from next April to just one per cent.”
  2. Herefordshire recycling and waste collections may change for a greener future Changes to the way they provide the county’s recycling and waste collection and waste disposal services are set to be considered at a cabinet meeting to be held next week (Thursday 25 November). With tough new environmental standards on the horizon, keeping things as they are now is not an option, after the council received over 3600 responses to its consultation earlier in the year. In response, 86 per cent said ‘more needs to be done to reduce rubbish and increase recycling’; while 60 per cent accepted ‘the need to change the current rubbish and recycling system’. Over half (56 per cent) of residents favour a separate food waste collection. If agreed, from late 2023, the changes will see a new weekly food waste collection service and a fortnightly seasonal garden waste collection service. Currently 40 per cent of the contents of the county’s residual waste bins could be recycled and residents have told us more needs to be done. Herefordshire Council are therefore proposing an alternate three-weekly collection service of paper and card on week 1, plastic, cans and glass on week 2 and all other residual waste of week 3. Separating paper and card from other recyclables will lead to more being accepted by recycling companies for recycling into new products than is the case now. Overall, residents will have much more recycling capacity and, if successful, will be part of an ambitious attempt by the council to achieve some of the highest recycling rates in the country. Changes to the way they collect recycling and waste underpin ambitious environmental targets agreed by cabinet last July to reduce household waste by 36 per cent to less than 330kg a year and more than double the county’s reuse and recycling rates from 40 per cent to 85 per cent by 2035. Herefordshire Council hope to end sending any waste to landfill at all by 2035. All this is part of their commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 The contract with the current waste and recycling collection partner is due to end in 2023 and cannot be extended. Cabinet will be asked to agree to readvertise the service to the industry. Cabinet will also be asked to exercise an option to agree extending the present waste and recycling disposal contract for a further five years. If agreed, this will drive further savings for the council on the cost of the disposal contract to help pay for the new collection service. The extension would also secure immediate environmental benefits. These include a 95 per cent reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill from 20 per cent to just one per cent from April 2022 and steps to ensure all recycled materials can be audited and traced if being sent outside Europe. As is currently the case, they will work with managing agents, residents associations and people who live in flats to ensure they have a service that reflects their needs but provides maximum opportunities for them to recycle. For very large families, or for people with medical needs, the council will continue to offer additional waste capacity as they do now.
  3. A group supporting women through domestic abuse has praised the way the service has been supported by Herefordshire Council Members of the council’s adult scrutiny body were given an update on Herefordshire’s Domestic Abuse Strategy in a report which highlighted that: ‘Domestic abuse is a complex and pervasive issue which cannot be addressed fully by any single organisation. The overall purpose of the strategy is to provide direction to partner organisations on how they can work collaboratively to prevent, identify and respond to domestic abuse.’ The strategy will also enable compliance with new legislation in this year’s Domestic Abuse Act. West Mercia Women's Aid has been involved in reviewing the Domestic Abuse Strategy. CEO, Sue Coleman, said: ‘Herefordshire Council has been supporting domestic abuse services for some time,’ adding that the services in the county were such that those escaping domestic abuse could be offered safe and secure accommodation. Over the past year support for services has significantly increased the capacity to support victims and their children in an enhanced safe accommodation offer, with specialist support for those with multiple complex needs. Referring to the new women’s refuge in Hereford Sue Coleman said that the refuge was: ‘As good as it gets across the country and we are very proud of it.’ She told the council’s Adult Scrutiny Committee that families who had used the refuge were very appreciative of the combined privacy and community support alongside the quality of service at a difficult time. West Mercia Women's Aid have also been working with Connexus and Herefordshire Council to develop satellite properties across the county that would allow greater flexibility and support for families escaping domestic abuse. Ms Coleman told councillors that any strategy must ensure that children are also considered as victims where domestic abuse has occurred and that the aid group was working with the council’s children’s department to ensure children got the right support when they needed it. The committee heard a first-hand account of how damaging emotional abuse can be, often with little evidence, and how counselling services must be made affordable as it was often through counselling that women were signposted to support services – and unaffordable counselling discriminated against the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
  4. Herefordshire community car club pilot 🚗 Funded by the Central Government Covid Recovery Grant, Herefordshire Council wishes to support up to six communities to establish community car clubs during an 18 month pilot. A community car club is a local, member-based initiative that provides access to pay-as-you-drive vehicles. Community car clubs are typically run by local groups to support their communities. Car clubs can improve accessibility to transport provision for residents particularly in rural areas. They can also help households reduce their carbon footprint by not owning a car and having more consideration about car use. An independent third party will be appointed to support the pilot car clubs, for example by: Purchasing and loaning up to six pre-owned cars Covering insurance, breakdown, MOT, servicing and repairs Providing online booking systems and other administration Herefordshire Council are inviting communities to submit an expression of interest by Thursday 7 October. Complete the form if you can demonstrate: Evidence you have a steering group in place and named volunteers willing to undertake key roles, for example membership co-ordinator, car keeper, scheme promoter Evidence that you have undertaken consultation and publicity and have at least three residents keen to join Complete the car club expression of interest form by following the 'Hereford Voice' unique link here ➡ https://hfd.news/sxs
  5. As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for COP 26 to discuss co-ordinated action on climate change, Herefordshire leaders have agreed exemplary new standards that will revolutionise housing in the county. Herefordshire Future Homes aims to set standards for net zero carbon homes developed by the council, and its partners across the county and is aimed at all stakeholders involved in housing. Coalition councillors met last week to discuss how low energy homes would drive net zero carbon development in the region, create new jobs and skills, and support the local economy while building homes for those who need them would enable communities to flourish for years to come without trapping them in fuel poverty by reducing energy supply needs. Coun Ellie Chowns (Green Party) welcomed the initiative to develop passive houses in Herefordshire saying: ‘This signals our ambition to make real the concept of net zero affordable housing and how we will do that.’ ‘We know that new buildings have got to be net zero carbon – we’ve already got 85000 old homes in Herefordshire and retrofitting them to zero carbon standard is a massive challenge, we shouldn’t be adding to the housing stock by building new buildings that will need retrofitting down the line. This is about putting our policy where our mouth is and committing to zero carbon standards.’ Herefordshire Future Homes ambitions will ensure healthy, warm homes for residents – eliminating cold, mould and damp in healthy neighbourhoods with space for children to play, space for nature, and the provision of sustainable transport options. Proposals include One Planet Living frameworks designed to help people live well with the resources of the one planet we have. It has been used over twenty years in both public and private sector housing and elsewhere, and is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Coun Felicity Norman welcomed the proposals and said: ‘We absolutely need to provide quality housing that will help to ensure that our communities are healthier.’ Advisor John Christophers, from Zero Carbon House, told councillors that there was a policy vacuum in the UK at the moment but that Herefordshire was not alone in wanting to set higher standards for housing. Citing examples in Norwich, Exeter and Norwich, Mr Christophers said that as these standards became embedded in contractors minds the cost differentials would minimise and zero carbon housing would become the new norm. Springfield Meadows in Oxford is an example of Herefordshire’s housing ambitions. Designed to help residents lead happier and healthier lives with a minimal carbon footprint, the development engages with nature and creates a strong sense of community. It is a mixed development of 23 affordable and for-sale homes, built ‘tenure-blind’ to the same high standards throughout. The homes are built using local labour and natural materials with 90% reduction in embodied carbon emissions. All homes are zero carbon in operation, with solar panels and connection to green power for any surplus demand. A car-club operates with electric vehicles. Residents benefit from large gardens, giving the opportunity to grow their own food, a central green space to enjoy as a community, a wildlife pond, a community orchard, and herb garden. Homes account for over 26% of Herefordshire’s carbon emissions, and have increased by more than a quarter over the past twelve years.
  6. Beginning this Saturday (4 September), the council is pleased to announce that all bus travel within Herefordshire will be FREE AT WEEKENDS!! Thanks to investment as part of the Covid-19 Recovery Fund, anybody and everybody will be able to hop on and off any bus in the county, as many times as they like. No fares. The only condition is that the journey must be entirely within the county. To help people make the most of the scheme, there will also be additional services on Sundays, serving several locations including Bromyard, Ledbury, Leominster, Kington and Colwall.Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: Free weekend bus travel is just one element of the Covid-19 Recovery Plan, which is providing funding of £6m to support the county in its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Cllr David Hitchiner, Leader of the Council, added: Bus travel will remain free to residents of pensionable age, and those with a qualifying disability through the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS). To help keep everybody safe, it is recommended that you continue to wear a mask when travelling by bus – and don’t forget to check timetables for your return journey before travelling. For more information, visit herefordshire.gov.uk/bus-it
  7. Read the Herefordshire Council statement in response to the publication of an Ofsted letter following a recent planned visit of our children's services department Ofsted has published their letter this week following a planned visit of our children’s services on 7 July 2021, in line with the inspection of local authority children’s services (ILACS) framework. During the recent visit inspectors reviewed our arrangements for children in need and children subject to a child protection plan. They looked at a wide range of evidence, including interviews with staff, discussions with senior leaders and case discussions with social workers and team managers. They also looked at our performance management and quality assurance information and children’s case records. Ofsted identified three areas for priority action: Address inconsistent and variable social work practice to ensure that children are the focus of assessments, planning and interventions. The frequency and effectiveness of case supervision and the monitoring of children who are subject to child in need and child protection planning. Shortfalls in case-holding capacity for social workers, including newly qualified social workers, to allow them to respond effectively to children in need of help and protection. Inspectors recognised the significant changes recently made to the senior leadership for children’s services and stated the following: Councillor Diana Toynbee, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Safeguarding and Corporate Parenting and Catherine Knowles, Director for Children and Families, shared: You can view the full Ofsted report for the 7 July 2021 visit here. - We have also attached the pdf below If anyone has concerns about the way they, or someone they know, 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 Herefordshire_Focused_visit_of_local_authority_childrens_services_July21.pdf
  8. Over the next few weeks, you may notice some bin collections are later than normal This is due to staff shortages. Herefordshire Council are working hard to make collections, so please only report a missed bin if it has not been collected by 5pm - before this time, a crew may still be on their way to you. The Council are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Hereford Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the U92211 - Watling Street, Leintwardine in Herefordshire.
  16. Herefordshire Council teams have recently completed a programme of resurfacing and drainage works on the U75016 - The Glibes, Michaelchurch Escley in Herefordshire.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
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