News History
November 2023

Message from Carole Gandy – County Councillor


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.

  1. RV of £15k or under = grant of £1,334
  2. RV over £15k and below £51k = grant of £2,000
  3. 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 carole.gandy@herefordshire.gov.uk, 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)