Monthly Archives: April 2020

Message from Carole Gandy – County Councillor

This has been the strangest few months I have ever experienced and I suspect that for some you have found new interests and the opportunity to relax more and appreciate the wonderful countryside we have around us. For me, although I am attending regular Zoom meetings which I have found quite tiring at times, it has meant that as I have not had to spend half my day travelling to and from Hereford and that I too have had more time to appreciate this beautiful County. Barry and I have done numerous walks in North Herefordshire whilst at the same time being able to report missing steps on stiles and in some cases missing way markers.

For many of you involved in the community groups, the village hall and the churches this has been a difficult time, you do what you do in order to provide a service and a social meeting place for local residents and this has been taken away from you. Times ahead will be challenging as you work your way through the reams of guidance which changes often in order to be able to once again provide that service.

I must thank all those volunteers who have throughout the pandemic worked so hard in getting shopping and prescriptions or just offering a listening ear, for those who have been shielded, your work has been much appreciated. As someone who volunteered a lot in my earlier life, I know how rewarding this can be and I do hope that some of you will continue after the pandemic as there are always those who due to their frailty or other circumstances need continuing support. I would also like to convey my thanks to those businesses in Wigmore along
with the Community shop who have adapted their way of working in order to support the more vulnerable in Wigmore and the surrounding villages. I know that this has in many cases been a costly exercise but it is greatly appreciated. The Wigmore area  attracts many tourists and it is good to see them coming back and hopefully spending their money in our local businesses.
You will have read that there was a major outbreak of Covid-19 at a vegetable picking and packing farm in Mathon. I am pleased to report that this appears to have now been cleared up and it was contained within the farm. I do however suspect that over the coming months we shall see similar outbreaks in other parts of Herefordshire. However, as a County we have been very fortunate and so far, our numbers of confirmed cases has been lower as a percentage than most other parts of the country.

There was a special Full Council Meeting on the 4 th August which agreed to borrow about £4.5 million to repair flood damaged road. This will hopefully deal with roads in Mortimer Ward which were damaged by the floods earlier in the year and have still not been repaired.

Working with HNT, Plant Life and Verging on Wild, Balfour Beatty have identified 36 verges on C & U roads which due to their potential natural beauty have had a sign erected stating DO  NOT CUT YET and these will be cut just once when the wild flowers have seeded. These areas are not in places where there would be issues of safety. This is a trial and is in operation across the county.
Balfour Beatty are looking at a Cut and Collect trial taking place which they know is something parish council’s want to see. They do have to however to look at the cost of providing extra equipment which would be required to collect the grass up, whilst recognising the harm it can do, particularly to horses.
The parish councillors of Pipe Aston and Elton are working hard with my support to try to develop some ideas for improving pedestrian safety through these villages and the Parish Council as a whole is looking at various ways to make Bury Lane Playing Field more attractive.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at carole.gandy@herefordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01568 780583  if you have a problem which you wish to raise with me and I will be happy to discuss. 

Keep Safe Carole