Thanking Sue Hubbard for 36 years service to Parish Council

Bishopstone Group Parish Council is very sorry to lose Sue Hubbard as parish councillor for Byford after 36 years service to the parish.

Bishopstone Neighbourhood Development PlanSue put so much effort into her role and worked tirelessly on many projects – The Parish Plan, The Community Centre and the Neighbourhood Development Plan, where her knowledge and skill have greatly benefited our Council.

John Macklin, Chairman of the Bishopstone Group Parish council said, “Sue, I will certainly miss the help and advise you have given me as my Vice Chair over the last 11 years.

You first became the Parish Councillor for Byford way back on May 15th 1985.  Sue, I would personally and on the behalf of Bishopstone Group Parish Council like to thank you for the last 36 years you have served your community as a councillor.

You have always represented your parishioners with commitment, trying to sort out Parish problems whether it be flooding, ditches, footpaths also your efforts carrying out litter picking.”

Bishopstone phone box gets new lick of paint

The phone box in Bishopstone village is the parish council information kiosk and importantly, it houses a defibrillator. Very much in need of sprucing up, Councillors Rosemary Morgan and Sarah Keefe removed the flaking paint and applied a coat of Post Office red paint.

The defibrillator can make all the difference between life and death for someone suffering a heart attack as you wait for an ambulance to arrive. This portable device gives a casualty’s heart an electric shock, when it has stopped beating normally in a sudden cardiac arrest.

Bishopstone telephone box after painting
After: Painted Post Office red
Bishopstone parish telephone box
Before: Rosemary Morgan removing the flaking paint

Help us make the A438 at Bridge Sollars safer with 40mph speed limit

There is a proposal to introduce a 40mph speed limit on the A438 at Bridge Sollars, Herefordshire. We have until 16th September to register our support, the more of us who request this, the more likely it will be implemented and lives saved.

If you have driven along the straight stretch of the A438 in front of the Antique Centre over the past few weeks you may have noticed Traffic Speed Monitoring equipment on the road.

After many years of lobbying by the Parish Council, our request to Herefordshire Council to review the speed limit on this stretch is now being considered.

We are pleased to share the news that the results of the Traffic Speed Monitoring Survey so far have resulted in a recommendation to apply a 40mph speed limit running between the brow of the hill at either end of this stretch of road (see page 2 of Initial Statutory Consultantion document).

Bridge Sollars proposed 40mph speed limit

 

The average speeds recorded during the Survey ranged from 52.8 – 58.5mph in the Eastbound direction, and 53.5 – 54.2mph in the Westbound direction.  This confirms the widely held views of residents and business owners whose properties exit directly onto this stretch that traffic is travelling at speeds in excess of what is safe.

As I’m sure you’re aware, there have been many Road Traffic Accidents along this stretch over the years, especially involving vehicles turning into residential driveways or businesses; this does not just impact those of us who’s properties exit directly onto this stretch, but all users of this road.

At the moment this proposal is still in the Initial Statutory Consultation stage of the process.  We hope that you will join the Parish Council in supporting the implementation of this speed limit. We encourage you to register your support by email to will@adltraffic.co.uk, or by writing to Will Wilson, Traffic Engineer, ADL Traffic and Highways Engineering Ltd, ADL House, Oaklands Business Park, Armstrong Way, Yate, BS37 5NA.

The deadline for receipt of your comments needs to be registered before noon on 16th September to be considered. If you would like more details, please do not hesitate to contact the Parish Council.

 

Parish Councillor vacancy for Byford

NOTICE OF VACANCY
IN THE OFFICE OF PARISH COUNCILLOR for
Byford Parish

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a casual vacancy is deemed to have occurred in the
office of Councillor for the Byford Parish following the resignation of Daphne Susan
Hubbard.

Rule 5 of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules
2006, provides that on a casual vacancy occurring in the office of Parish councillor, an
election to fill the vacancy shall be held if within fourteen days* after the date of this notice
(i.e. no later than Friday, 10th September 2021) has been given in accordance with
section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, notice in writing of a request for such an
election has been given to the proper officer of the council of the district within which the
Parish is situate by TEN electors for the Parish.

If a request for an election is not received by the above deadline then Bishopstone
Group Parish Council will co-opt a person to fill the vacancy as soon as practicable in
accordance with the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rules 1986.
If there is an election, it will take place not later than Friday, 12th November 2021.

The proper officer is Paul Walker Herefordshire Council, Electoral Services, Town Hall, St
Owen Street, Hereford, HR1 2PJ

Clerk to Bishopstone Group Parish Council
Dated: Friday, 20th August 2021

Parish Councillor vacancy for Kenchester

NOTICE OF VACANCY
IN THE OFFICE OF PARISH COUNCILLOR for
Kenchester Parish

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a casual vacancy is deemed to have occurred in the
office of Councillor for the Kenchester Parish following the resignation of James Neil
Newton.

Rule 5 of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules
2006, provides that on a casual vacancy occurring in the office of Parish councillor, an
election to fill the vacancy shall be held if within fourteen days* after the date of this notice
(i.e. no later than Thursday, 10th June 2021) has been given in accordance with section
87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, notice in writing of a request for such an
election has been given to the proper officer of the council of the district within which the
Parish is situate by TEN electors for the Parish.

If a request for an election is not received by the above deadline then Bishopstone
Group Parish Council will co-opt a person to fill the vacancy as soon as practicable in
accordance with the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rules 1986.
If there is an election, it will take place not later than Thursday, 12th August 2021.

The proper officer is Paul Walker Herefordshire Council, ElectoralServices, Town Hall, St
Owen Street, Hereford, HR1 2PJ

Clerk to Bishopstone Group Parish Council
Dated: Thursday, 20th May 2021

Rogue Traders – what to look out for

West Mercia Police have had a report of a company offering tarmacking services in the Longtown area last week.

rogue traderThis company went by the name of Highway Tarfix Ltd with a company address in Darlington.
Trading standards have confirmed that these individuals are rogue traders who will do a shoddy job and charge an exorbitant rate.

The usual ‘patter’ is that they have been doing a job locally and have a load of tar to use up before it goes off. The law states that any ‘cold callers’ must give any prospective customers paperwork listing the work to be done and total cost, and give a 7 day cooling off period before work commences. This applies to any goods or services offered at the door or by phone.

Trading Standards also advise that “homeowners have to be particularly careful when choosing a workman or a builder. Don’t rely on online reviews as many of these lists are infiltrated by rogue traders, but get recommendations from people you know and ask around.”

“You should always check whether someone working in your home is actually a member of the trade body they claim to be in and are bound by an effective arbitration service within that organisation should you wish to complain.”

“Major building work involves considerable amounts of money and staged payments should only be made once satisfactory work has been completed at that stage. In addition you should ensure that payments are only made into the proper business account of the builder, whether it is a Limited Company or a Sole Trader.”

Wildflower areas spring up around the parish

As you go about the parish, you may have noticed wildflower areas have sprung up, generating nectar-rich areas for bees and other insects. As a parish council, we want to do our bit to help combat climate change and habitat loss which has sadly led to a sharp decline in wildlife across the country.

Kenchester wildflower area
Colour on the Kenchester Triangle as the wildflowers start to bloom

Wildflower areas have been created:

  • On Kenchester’s Triangle
  • By the green cabinet between Kenchester’s Old Rectory and the Triangle
  • By the Bishopstone Church sign on the way to Mansel Lacy
  • Down Ferry Lane in Byford
  • By entrance to The Forge in Byford

This is just the beginning. We are re-introducing wildflowers that would have grown in the hedgerows and green spaces in times gone by – plants like red campion, oxeye daisies, wild strawberries, teasels, common mullein and foxgloves.

These areas provide food and shelter for our declining wildlife.  The plants are food for butterflies and moths and in the autumn seeds for various types of birds to eat. The grubs from beneficial insects like hover-flies eat greenfly and blackfly which tend to multiply out of control.

Across the UK, just 0.7% of land is nature reserves yet there are thousands of miles of road verges that could be transformed into havens for wild flowers and the wildlife they support. If we can provide a network of routes that support wildlife then nature reserves and other areas of high biodiversity can be linked rather than remain islands within an intensively farmed landscape.

Wild daffodils in Bishopstone
Wild daffodils on road to Shetton, just past the Bishopstone Church sign

Some wildflowers do quite well in our hedgerows – daffodils, snowdrops, yellow celandines, white stitchwort, white deadnettle, meadowsweet  and of course primroses. What we’re lacking are nectar-rich flowers as the summer progresses and this is the gap we’re trying to fill.

Thankfully, farmers are incentivised to improve habitats for farmland birds and insect pollinators through the Countryside Stewardship scheme (soon to be replaced by ELM) but that’s not enough.

If you’d like to help bring back wildlife to our verges and hedgerows along with a burst of colour, do get in touch and we can provide wildflower plug plants and ideas on what is suitable for sunny and shaded areas.

Local Ice Age pools are rare relic of the past

Ice age pondsWe’re lucky enough in our parish to have a number of Ice Age ponds – ponds that were created when wooley mammoths roamed the countryside 22,000 years ago. We’re lucky because they contain rare and nationally scarce wildlife such as certain species of diving beetles, insects and plants not found elsewhere in Herefordshire.

It’s amazing to think that some of the species that colonise these ponds today have been there for tens of thousands of years.

Kenchester has a cluster of 5 of these ponds, known as kettle hole ponds; some dry out in the summer while others are there all year round. They are home to many different species including small red eyed damselfly and rare water diving beetles. They also support the county’s largest great crested newt colony.

OystercatcherMervyn Davies in Bishopstone has been surveying these ponds for the British Trust for Ornithology these past 5 years and in an average year sees over 80 different species of birds. These include rare waders such as Oystercatchers, a black and white bird with orange/red bill and reddish pink legs, and Curlews with their distinctive call.

Kettle hole ponds were created during the last Ice Age when large chunks of ice were left behind as the ice sheet retreated to central Wales (see map showing the reach of the ice sheet close to the current A49). As these chunks of ice melted, saucer-shaped depressions in the glacial material remained. It’s the warm, sunny, shallow areas that have gradually been colonised by plants and other life forms.

Ice Age morraine deposits

 

Nearby, other ice age ponds of note include Lawn Pool at Moccas Park (home of the UK’s largest blood-sucking leech), The Sturts at Kinnersley and Mere Pool near Blakemere. Last year, researchers surveyed Lawn Pool and counted 53 species of aquatic invertebrates in a single session (an average pond would yield about 20). This survey identified an incredible 32 species of water beetle.

great crested newtEcologist Will Watson surveyed some of Herefordshire’s kettle hole ponds in 2003 and realised something extraordinary: out of 260 ponds, nearly half were home to the rare great crested newt. This is probably the highest occurrence rate for the species anywhere in Britain.

Across the UK, just 2% of ponds are of natural origin, rather than manmade. Here in north-west Herefordshire, 25% of ponds are natural. It’s estimated there are 1500 of these Ice Age ponds in our county, many have disappeared as they become silted up or filled in to expand agricultural land.

With money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Ice Age Pond project will survey as many Ice Age ponds as it can with the help of volunteers and hopes to raise awareness of the importance and biodiversity of these ponds to more people in Herefordshire.

On a few selected ponds the project will cut away the vegetation cover that shades them to allow wildlife to regenerate.

“If you leave a pond it will naturally, in most cases, silt up and turn into a bog or a woodland,” says Dave Hutton, ice age ponds project officer at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. “Without those natural processes, like aurochs and large mammals traipsing around and keeping them open, ponds and their wildlife tend to disappear. We’re acting like beavers and other large herbivores and keeping them open.”

The project is being run by three organisations – Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust.

The Spring training sessions for Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Pond Project will take place live on Zoom starting on Friday March 5th. The sessions will enable volunteers to carry out practical pond surveys during Spring and Summer.  If you are interested email Dave Hutton – d.hutton@herefordshirewt.co.uk

For more information about the project, go to https://www.herefordshirewt.org/iceageponds

COVID-19 Scams – Police advice from Golden Valley SNT

Herefordshire police update feb 2021Here is the February newsletter from the Golden Valley Safer Neighbourhood Team providing advice on how to detect Coronovirus Scams and where to report them.

These include a fake NHS text telling people they’re eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine. The web link in the text message takes you through to an extremely convincing fake NHS website that asks for your personal details, asking for bank/card details in order to ‘check identity’.

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine, likely by letter from your GP or from the NHS itself.  You will NOT be asked for bank details.

Some people are receiving fake text messages claiming they’ve been in contact with someone who’s
tested positive for COVID-19. The newsletter shows how you tell if a contact tracing text is real.

if you receive scams by email., text, phone or mail (and I’m sure you do!) and you wish to report any to police, please contact Action Fraud.

Flytipping – let’s catch the culprits

Bishopstone has within the last week experienced two flytipping incidents on the road from Bridge Sollars crossroads to Mansel Lacy.  The rubbish has been dumped in a way that blocks part of the road, making it dangerous for traffic.  We’re not the only parish to suffer from flytipping recently, Credenhill is also experiencing the same thing.

Flytipping in Bishopstone, HerefordshireThis photo is of the most recent incident from Saturday 30th January and as you can see the rubbish has been dumped in the layby as you come up from the crossroads and partly across the road.

Thankfully, Herefordshire County Council removes the rubbish very quickly but it would be good to catch the culprits.

In these two incidents, a flat-bed tipper is believed to be the vehicle used to dump building materials.

If you see anyone fly tipping in our parish, here’s what you can do:

  • Make a note of any vehicle used, including model, colour and registration number. If it is safe to do so without being seen, take a photograph or video of the activity
  • Note the fly tippers’ clothes, and distinguishing features. If you can hear the fly tippers, take note of anything which was said along with the speakers’ accents
  • Make a note of what they dumped, the location, weather conditions and how far away you were at the time.
    Use Herefordshire Council’s online form to report it: https://myaccount.herefordshire.gov.uk/report-fly-tipping