When I wrote my article for your Autumn edition life for many was beginning to return to a new normal. I did not think that when writing my article in November we would be back in lockdown.
Despite Herefordshire recording a significantly lower number of cases and
deaths it is clear from data I am receiving that our number of recorded cases is increasing quite significantly. As a result of the second wave many parish events have had to be cancelled which must be heart-breaking for all those who put so much work into providing social activities for local residents. Let us hope that 2021 will allow such events to resume.
I came across some thoughts of the former hostage Terry Waite which I thought were wise at this time.
“ Change your mindset you`re not STUCK at home you`re SAFE at home. Keep your dignity, form a structure to the day, be grateful for what you have- shelter, a home and possessions. Read and be creative”.
We are fortunate to live in a lovely part of the world with a strong and caring community,
we are all facing this together.
In the ward there are a number of small businesses which have either closed or have had a significant reduction in income. We need these businesses to be there after Covid and therefore funds are to be provided to local authorities, under two different schemes:
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) (LRSG (Closed)) – This is a grant scheme for rate paying businesses that must close due to the restrictions. This is principally non–essential retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that must close.
- RV of £15k or under = grant of £1,334
- RV over £15k and below £51k = grant of £2,000
- RV of £51k or over = grant of £3,000
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) – Replaces the discretionary grant fund from the last lockdown period. We are working through the targeting of the fund, but likely to be to support those that are closed or severely impacted by the lockdown that the above scheme can’t support.
However, as I drove around Mortimer ward this Autumn I was amazed by the colour of the leaves on the trees and the hedgerows, far brighter than many previous Autumns. It is as if nature knows we need something to cheer us up and is doing everything it can to do so.
We are lucky in Mortimer ward that we have so many trees but it is clear from the number of planning applications coming through that in the villages residents are finding it necessary due to size, safety or the age of a tree to make a request for it to be removed.
These applications are rarely refused and I can quite understand why, however I would make a plea that where possible the applicant replants a more suitable native tree on their land in its place. We cannot afford in our villages to lose our trees.
In April Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust took over responsibility for mental health services in Herefordshire, including the Let’s Talk service. This will now be known as Herefordshire Healthy Minds and will support people who are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. It is a FREE, confidential NHS service. To access it you must be 18 or over and registered with a GP in Herefordshire. You can self-refer by either calling their
new number 01432 347606 or completing the online self-referral form www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk.
If you need to contact me about a particular issue or just to have a chat please do not hesitate to do so either by emailing me email@example.com, or telephone either 01568 780583 or 07792882133. I cannot at this time visit you in your home but once lockdown is over I can meet you in an outside environment.
Carole Gandy (Cllr)
9th April to 18th April – Herefordshire Life Through a Lens – Photographs from the Derek Evans Studio Archive 1940’s – 1970’s
The PHOTOS is the culmination of the three-year Herefordshire Life Through a Lens project, and this multi-venue exhibition of photographs represents the first major retrospective of the Derek Evans Studio collection ever to be held. Many of the images have never been seen outside Derek’s dark room, or been exhibited for over 50 years. Catcher Media now brings a ‘bite size’ exhibition to both Leominster and Kington Libraries.
Enjoy a rare chance to get up close and personal with these fantastic photographs.
Firstly, may I wish you all a belated Happy and Prosperous New Year. For some of those residents in Mortimer ward the end of last year and the beginning of this year was very difficult, with properties being flooded on more than one occasion. I cannot imagine the affect it must have had upon them. Fortunately Wigmore parish itself did not suffer to such an extent although Bury Lane was affected by the flooding. I am looking at whether parishes could set up a Flood Group or at the very least have a Flood Warden and am speaking to parishes such as Bodenham where a scheme already exists.
Myself, and the parish councillors for Elton and Pipe Aston recently received agreement from the Wigmore Parish Council to submit a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to have the speed limits parts of these villages reduced from 60 mph to 40 mph to bring them in line with Leinthall Starkes. This request has now been added to Balfour Beatty’s list.
Barry and I attended the Leinthall Starkes Christmas theme coffee morning at the end of November which we thoroughly enjoyed and were delighted to win a Father Christmas in the raffle. It took pride of place amongst our decorations. I would like to thank all those involved in organising this event.
By the time you read this article, Herefordshire Council will have set its budget and I am very disappointed that so much capital money is going into Hereford City. Many roads in Mortimer ward are in a very poor state and I am not confident that any of the roads in the ward I have identified for resurfacing this coming financial year will be included. Balfour Beatty advised us on the 29th Jan following the flooding they had at that time 500 emergency defects and 4,500 Cat 2 defects outstanding. All work being carried out by BB was re-active
The gully jetting programme had been suspended in order to focus on priority sites and there was a 200 gully jetting backlog.
According to the DfT it would require an investment of £8 million per year to be spent on our roads just to stand still and BBs budget for 2020/21 is £1.7 million. Their high priority backlog of work at that time amounted to £15.9 million so you can see the huge challenge they have. There are 300 drainage schemes on hold awaiting funding.
We are hoping for some more money in the March Government Budget and I shall be pressing for that money to be spent on rural roads.
Let’s hope that the picture I paint turns out not to be so bad. If you need to contact me about a particular issue or just to have a chat please do not hesitate to do so either by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone either 01568 780583 or 07792882133. I am always happy to come out and visit you at your home if you feel that would be helpful.
Knighton Rotary Club are hosting the Rotary Young Musician competition for Rotary Clubs in Mid Wales and this includes representatives from the Rotary Clubs of Abergavenny, Builth Wells and Crickhowell. 6 talented young musicians ( 3 vocalists, 3 instrumentalists) will be performing ( all are of grade 7 standard or above ) and it would be great to have an audience for them. The venue is the St Edwards Church Hall in Knighton and the concert starts at 1pm – hall opens at 12.30pm. Entry is free and there will be refreshments. The youngsters will be judged on their performances and the winners will proceed to the next round which will be against young musicians from across Mid and South Wales on February 29th in Blackwood. All are welcome to enjoy these exciting young stars of the future.
Unfortunately, unlike last year, this year’s summer was not so good and autumn really started badly with flooding in many parts of the County and in Mortimer ward, homes in Leintwardine and Aymestrey parishes were particularly badly affected. I cannot imagine the distress that house flooding must have upon the home owner. Let us hope that things now improve and that unlike last winter we are not subjected to significant snow fall. If you need to contact Balfour Beatty urgently then telephone 01432 261800. If it is not urgent then you can go online to report potholes, fly tipping etc. There is also an app you can download whereby you can photograph the pothole and upload it and Balfour Beatty will know the exact location.
A general election is due in December and I would urge all of you, particularly those in the more rural areas or who are elderly and have not already done so, to consider registering for a postal vote. It is a simple process and ensures that whatever the weather conditions you will be able to cast your vote.
I recently toured Kings Meadow with the local parish councillor, clerk and the locality steward from Balfour Beatty to look at work that needed to be done by both the parish council and Balfour Beatty to ensure that hedges and trees were cut back where they are growing over pathways or hanging at a level which could cause injury to local residents. I urged that this work be carried out swiftly.
The parish council along with myself is looking at various ways of preventing large vehicles using Bury Lane as a short cut, this road is completely unsuitable for large vehicles and there is a need to reduce the amount of traffic using Bury Lane as it is used regularly by children crossing to and from the school.
I have recently met with the two parish councillors representing Elton and Pipe Aston along with someone from the Safer Roads Partnership to look at ways of making these two villages safer for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The problem of speeding through these villages has been an ongoing problem and with no pavement or verge for pedestrians to walk on there is a real risk to local residents.
There have been many complaints about the condition of Bury Lane Playing Field and that the grass is not in a fit state for ball games. The parish council is working hard to rectify this as we all recognise the need for somewhere to enable our young people to kick a ball about.
Barry and I really enjoyed the MacMillan coffee mornings at Wigmore Village Hall and Elton Church and I must congratulate all those involved, even if it did mean inches on the waist!
As always if you wish to contact me about a particular issue or just for a chat please do not hesitate to do so on my email address email@example.com or telephone 01568 780583 or 07792882133. Always pleased to hear from you.
The community has been asked by the police Safer Neighbourhood Team to spread the word about scamming, as offences are being reported locally daily, particularly targeting older females.
Please remind everyone that no one will phone to ask for account details, pin numbers or for money to be collected by couriers so people just need to put the phone down. Please ask them to call the police if they have someone attempting this tactic.