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Mortimer Villages Article – January 2017 – County Councillor Carole Gandy

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Firstly may I wish you all a belated Happy New Year. So far we have avoided the snow but we have experienced ice and unpleasant fog. Such conditions are quite challenging for those driving along our rural roads, many of which are not covered by the gritting programme.

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening before xmas at the Wigmore School Concert which demonstrated that a number of pupils had considerable talent.

I was pleased to be advised that this coming September only 6 families across the whole of Herefordshire will not have achieved their first preference High School. This is quite an achievement and it is unlikely to be the replicated in other Education Authorities.

I also attended the nativity play at Wigmore School which involved the younger children. This was really good fun and included a number of camels including one called Humph Both performances were really well attended

With regard to broadband I am advised that of the 1,536 properties in the BT contract for Mortimer ward, 1,058 were complete at the 4th January with 805 of those receiving over 30 Mbps. If any resident has a particular query and they contact me I can ascertain exactly what the situation is with regard to their residence. There are 291 still in the process of being built, leaving 187 or so properties which are not included in the BT contract and should be connected by the end of 2017 by a different provider.

In the past 4 months two planning officers responsible for Mortimer ward applications have left the council, this should not affect minor applications but larger applications are at present being dealt with one officer and therefore delays may occur. I have raised the high turn over with the Director as it is very frustrating for the ward member and parish councils to build up a good relationship with their local planning officers only for them to frequently leave.

I recently visited the Wigmore Shop as they once again had traffic lights right outside the shop making it impossible for people to park outside the shop which was affecting trade. After a number of phone calls Welsh Water agreed to have traffic lights removed and to re-schedule the work for sometime in the future on a Sunday.

Last week I met both the new Chief Executive of Wye Valley Trust and representatives of the CCG to discuss firstly how the County Hospital is dealing with the present increase in patients resulting in lack of beds and increased waiting times for in and outpatient treatment. The CCG also explained some of their plans for 7 day access to a GP. We discussed the issue of rural communities accessing treatment and whether there was an opportunity for community facilities to be better utilised.

If you are, or know someone who is frail or has a disability either permanent or temporary and if in particular live alone why not consider the aids available from Herefordshire’s Telecare Team 01432 261650, this service can be a vital safety blanket that allows people to remain as independent as possible whilst ensuring that help is at hand in an emergency. The service can provide anything from a life line alarm with pendant, medication dispensers to tracking devices for a very small weekly service charge that allows the person to continue with their everyday lives.

Finally some residents, particularly the elderly are seen as suitable scam targets. If you believe that someone has either phoned you or called at your home with the sole purpose of committing a dishonest act or fraud, please do not hesitate to contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761.

Please stay safe and as always, if you wish to contact me about a particular matter, or just for a general chat, please do not hesitate to do so either on 01568 780583 or email carole.gandy@herefordshire.gov.uk. I am also always happy to come out to see you.

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