News Archive

The Notice of Conclusion of Audit has been posted…  30/9/2017

A report from the Footpath Officer…

A Vacancy exist on the Border Group Parish Council for Brampton Bryan. Nominations are required for this post. A notice has been displayed on relevant notice boards. A copy can be seen here.

PP3 Report September, 2017


Highways Authorities have set such a high specification for bridges on Rights of Way that the costs per bridge has become a serious problem given that we have limited funds for PP3.  Research has shown that many footpaths have closure notices on them because of dangerous bridges.  This problem is countrywide.  Making contact with the County Chairman of the Ramblers Association, he, too, recognised it as an impossible situation.   Not content with this, I made contact with other FPOs and it was thought that we might pool our requirements, identify a local fabricator and work out the costs.  Application might, then be made for grants or European money because of the value of the RoWs to tourism.  Joe Thomas, meanwhile, has sent photographs, measurements and locations of the four sites where our bridges are required to Mike Brookes.


Joe was making plans to undertake this major task.   Mike Brookes contacted me because of the number of complaints about the steps and informed me that he has drawn up job sheets for Balfours to undertake this work and the bridges, which means that there will be no cost on our PP3 funding and it also frees Joe for other work.


These have been approved.   Much work will be involved in changing the specification, but who will do this and when has not been identified.  Joe is anxious to avoid unnecessary work on RoWs in these areas.


Upon inspecting some sites, it was apparent that Joe cannot get materials and tools on site; they have to be a carried considerable distance, which involves a lot of hard work.

We are, indeed, very lucky to have Joe.


Joe and I receive numerous complaints about RoW – it is explained that we select the most important RoW requiring work, balancing our money and time available.

Report from County Cllr Carole Gandy


Firstly I am delighted that £4400 has been deposited into the Border Group bank account in respect of S106 money from Home Farm Lingen.  It took a huge amount of time to get it but just shows what perseverance can do.

I was advised by Mark Tansley on the 29th August that the owners of Togpen have appealed the planning decision  and I have documentation advising that the Appeal started on the 29th August and all representations must be received by 29th September 2017. The Appeal will be determined on the basis of written representations already received or received before the 29th September and a site visit by an inspector. I therefore expect a decision sometime in October/November.

When I returned from holiday there was a message on my answering machine concerning the Old Chapel and the fact that some corrugated sheeting had blown off the building. Unfortunately I could not distinguish the name of the caller.  However I did inform Building Control and I receiving an email from Mark Tansley advising that he has sought authority for a quote for direct action on the building.  He advised that they could prosecute but there would be no guarantee that the work would get done.

I was initially advised and a notice went up, that work on Leintwardine bridge would commence on 25th Sept.  This has now been put back to 3rd Oct.  This may well be related to works going on in the road between The Lion Pub and the bridge which would have really caused a bottle neck if they were carried out at the same time.

A reminder that the Mortimer Ward Chairs Vice Chairs and Clerks will be meeting with myself on the 20th September in the Reading Room at Leintwardine at 7.30 pm to consider a joint response to the Budget Consultation.

I have been advised by Herefordshire Council that as of April 2017 the housing supply was 4.54 years which is very close to the identified supply in April 16 however at present the Council is unable to demonstrate a 5 year land supply. There are positive indications of significant increases in activity in the local housing market. And this increase in activity combined with national planning policy updates have amended the approach to be taken when a 5 year land supply cannot be demonstrated.

In summary the factors include:

The number of planning permissions for housing in the county has increased by around 1000 dwellings over the past year which indicates the work undertaken by the Council in processing and approving applications.

Clarification of national planning policy has confirmed that in areas with made NDPs containing housing allocations housing supply policies will not be considered to be out of date as the housing supply in the County in April 2017 exceeded three years. In addition the Supreme Court has confirmed that adopted planning policies which are not specifically related to housing supply can continue to be given weight in decision making.


Get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017-2018 under the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme

Thousands of households in Herefordshire may be eligible for a £140 reduction to their electricity bill if they act quickly. For winter 2017-18, some energy suppliers are closing applications soon and householders are being urged to seek advice and apply now if they think they may be eligible.

The discount is available to those on a low income, and in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. As long as your energy supplier was part of the scheme on 9 July 2017, you may be eligible if you or a member of your household receives employment related benefits, is over 65, or has a disability; if you live with a child under 18; or if you spend a significant portion of your income on energy bills. The criteria varies between energy suppliers, so if you think you may be entitled to the discount, Keep Herefordshire Warm are advising you to contact them to check your eligibility.

The discount is also available to those receiving the Guaranteed Credit element of the Pension Credit, in which case an application is unnecessary as this ‘core group’ will be contacted in Autumn 2017 by the government.

In recent months, the UK’s ‘Big 6’ energy providers have announced electricity price increases that look set to cost their customers an additional £100 in household energy bills each year. To those who are eligible, the £140 Warm Home Discount can help to negate this increase.

Oliver Rothwell, Project manager for Keep Herefordshire Warm said:

“Those households who have the least to spend on energy bills are likely to feel these price increases the hardest, including households on the lowest incomes or where particular health conditions call for extra heat at home. We are delighted that the Warm Home Discount is returning and is able to benefit some of Herefordshire’s most vulnerable households”.

Keep Herefordshire Warm are urging householders to apply as soon as possible, as some applications are set to close within the month of September. Funding is allocated on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis, so those who meet the criteria must act quickly to confirm their receipt of the £140 discount.

“It is vital that applications are made as soon as possible to ensure that Herefordshire residents don’t miss out” said Oliver.

If you think you may be eligible, please contact Keep Herefordshire Warm for free on 0800 677 1432

If an eligible applicant is successful, £140 will automatically be deducted by the provider from their winter 2017-18 energy bill by the end of March 2018. The Warm Home Discount is separate from, and will not affect, any Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments.

19 July 2017 report from County Cllr Carole Gandy


I understand that Yvonne Coleman has been in touch with the clerk to ascertain the Parish Council’s bank account details and therefore hopefully the saga of the S106 monies has been resolved.  At the request of the clerk I have brought some information along about Community Speed Watch which might be something some of your villages might like to participate in.

The Old Chapel is still in a similar state to when Clive and myself attended the site meeting with Mr Rourke and residents.  The owner has until 20th July to demonstrate that significant improvement work has taken place.  Unlikely.  I have spoken to Debbie Crowley last week and she was going out to take a look and was going to write to Mr Rourke .  I will on the 21st prior to going on holiday send an email to Debbie requesting that the appropriate action be taken against Mr Rourke which is prosecution or remedial action by the council and the council to put a charge on the property.

With regard to footpath AF10 I believe Mike Brookes has spoken to Clive.  Mike advised me on the 4th July that he had tried to look into this but unfortunately the route was blocked by crops each way.  He has requested letters be sent to the relevant owners to get the paths re-instated ASAP and when he can access the paths he will take another look

I have brought some information along about the Leader Funding programme. Herefordshire has been allocated  £1.7 million to support rural business and to date has allocated 150K with some potential 450K in the pipeline.  This however still leaves a tidy sum which if not spent has to be returned to Europe and we don’t want that to happen.  I have brought along a flyer which tells you all about it, the criteria for bidding and who to contact.  It is all about helping rural businesses to grow and offers grants from £2.5K to £100k for businesses and communities. It must support one of 6 priorities and you must be a micro or small enterprise, a farmer, a community group or a charity to apply and match funding is required.

  • Support and development of micro and small enterprises, including farm diversification
  • Support for and the development of agricultural and horticultural businesses
  • Support for and the development of forestry businesses
  • Developing local distinctiveness: Support for rural tourism
  • Enhancing, restoring and upgrading community, cultural and natural heritage
  • Provision of rural services.

I have also forwarded some information to the clerk and chair about another funding stream which is specifically aimed at promoting tourism in your area. I thought that information about both schemes could be put on the website.

You will note on the agenda an item concerning the budget consultation.  I appreciate that individuals and parish councils will have their own priorities but  I do feel that if Mortimer ward as a whole could identify a few priorities that apply to all parts of the ward it would carry more weight.  Some cynics would say that taking part in such consultations makes no difference but I think both the library service and bus service consultations proved that senior members do listen and recognise the value of certain services provided to local people.  If you don’t take part then you can’t complain if your views are not considered.

A Mortimer ward resident has drawn to my attention that as a result of the requirement for smart meters to be rolled out across UK by 2020 she received a request from E-on her provider to install a smart meter (this was in Aymestrey).  The technician arrived and then advised that he could not do so as the mobile phone signal strength at the property was inadequate and that this was commonplace in Herefordshire and this had been his 3rd visit of the day and he had been unable to fit any.  As she points out given the need for an adequate mobile signal it would seem appropriate that E-on or any other provider check the phone coverage in the area prior to sending out a technician.  Huge waste of resources and also some householders will have taken time off work.  I have passed the matter onto the MP but would be grateful if you hear of any more that you pass the information to me.

I have spoken before about a number of Good Neighbour Schemes which have been set up in villages around Herefordshire and I have brought along today a leaflet from the Orleton scheme which you might like to take away and consider whether something similar might work in some of your villages.

18 July 2017

Cllr Carole Gandy supplied the following information – a call for tourism projects in the Marches.  Have a look!

Item 8 ii - Tourism Call

10 July 2017

News from Cllr Carole Gandy


The Border Group Neighbourhood Development Plan is close to being submitted to Herefordshire Council for a further 6 week consultation process.  This Plan is an extremely important document which will determine the way forward for all the  villages within the Border Group Parish for many years to come.  It is imperative that you study the plan and make your views known to Herefordshire Council once the 6 week consultation process commences.  If you wish to discuss the plan with either your parish councillors or myself, please do not hesitate to do so.

Herefordshire Council has been allocated £1.7 million  as part of the Rural Development Programme for England to support rural business and not all of that money has as yet been allocated.  If the money is not spent it has to be returned to Europe and I would not wish that to happen.  The funding is to support business in rural areas, farming and non farming including pubs, village shops but also community projects.  Grants of £2,500 – £100,000 (depending on priority which represents 40% of the total project cost) will be available.  All projects must support one of the following six LEADER priorities.

Support for and the development of micro and small enterprises, including farm diversifications.

Support for and the development of agricultural and horticultural businesses

Support for and the development of forestry businesses

Developing local distinctiveness: Support for local tourism

Enhancing, restoring and upgrading community, cultural and natural heritage.

Provision of rural services.

You must be a micro or small enterprise, a farmer, a community group or a charity to apply and should contact Programme Manager Dawn Turner 01432 383023 or email to find out whether you are eligible.

Many of you will have been horrified by the events of Grenfell Tower.  I have been assured by Herefordshire Council that no high rise properties exist in Herefordshire that are owned by the council or by social landlords that have the aluminium cladding material that is now under the spotlight. One building that is privately owned and which is not classed as high rise does exist that may have that cladding and further tests are being sought in respect of that building.

A resident has alerted me to the fact that energy companies are offering  householders in Herefordshire the opportunity to have smart meters fitted.  In order for a smart meter to be installed your property must have an adequate mobile phone signal and it would appear that companies are not checking this out in advance.  To avoid a wasted visit by a technician and in some cases a resident taking time off work please ensure that if your property does not have a good mobile phone signal that you inform your energy company at the time of the approach.

As always please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a problem, or just want a chat.  I am also always happy to visit you if that would be easier. Just telephone 01568 780583 or email

 24 June 2017

Further consultation on the Neighbourhood Development Plan in Adforton, Lingen & Walford. Read more…

Border Group Parish Council Accounts 2016 – 2017 may be inspected between 26 June & 4 August 2017.  Read more…

18 May 2017

Border Group Parish Council Chairman’s Annual Report read more….

6 May 2017

May is here and we have a few events you might like to know about:
10th May – Introduction to the Archive Service and the Collections at HARC.  Read more
18th May – Nature in Wool: needle felting workshop.  Read more
19th May – Murder in the Archives.  Read more..
22nd May – Digital Methods for Studying your Local Countryside and its History.  Read more
We also have new dates for Getting Started with Ancestry (Monday 17th July, 1pm) and Getting Started with Find My Past (Monday 24th July, 1pm) – these are very popular workshops, so don’t delay booking if you want to come! To book please contact:-
HARC (Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre)
Fir Tree Lane, Rotherwas, Hereford HR2 6LA
01432 260750

27 April 2017
Representations made during the latest consultation on the Neighbourhood Development plan are now available.  Read more

25 April 2017
From County Councillor Carole Gandy – MAY 2017

I love this time of year a time which I believe shows Mortimer ward at its best. However potholes and poor road surfaces continue to cause problems for road users across the ward and county.  This financial year a few roads in the ward will be surface dressed but there are no scheduled resurfacing works programmed, therefore please do not hesitate to contact me if you have concerns about a particular road and I will do my best to get the potholes repaired.

As mentioned previously there are still a number of residents unable to access faster broadband.  The latest phase will be carried out by Gigaclear and should be completed by the end of 2018.  If you are unsure as to whether your property is included, either access the Fastershire website or contact myself.

Herefordshire Council has set up a website WISH where residents, carers, GPs and voluntary organisations can find information on services and support,  both statutory and voluntary provided for adults and children within Herefordshire. If you are a provider of a service and would like your organisation to be included or are seeking information or assistance, please visit the website.

I recently was contacted by a local resident involved with The Light Prints project   which meets  fairly  regularly at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan and offers those with an interest in books an opportunity to meet new people and talk about a thought provoking book.  I was really impressed with the project. If you would like to know more about the project, please do not hesitate to email or visit their website

As you will be aware Border Group Parish Council are in the process of putting together the Neighbourhood Development Plan for the Border Group area.  It has been out to consultation and I hope you have contributed to that consultation and will at sometime in the near future be the subject of a referendum. It is very important that you read the document, understand the plan and vote in the referendum.  If you do not understand what a Neighbourhood Development Plan is, then please contact either your local  parish councillor  or NDP committee member or myself. This referendum will be your opportunity to state your view.

The EnviRecover Energy-from-Waste facility which is a joint Herefordshire and Worcestershire project based on the Hartlebury Trading Estate is now fully operational.  The handover follows 33 months construction programme and is the largest single piece of capital infrastructure in the two counties. It marks the virtual elimination of landfill in these two counties and will turn 200,000 tonnes per year of waste into electricity, exporting 15.5 MW of electricity to the grid which is sufficient to power all the homes in Kidderminster.

Finally for those of you planning community events during the summer I hope they weather is kind to you and thank you in advance for all your hard work.

As always please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a problem, or just want a chat.  I am also always happy to visit you if that would be easier. Just telephone 01568 780583 or email

12 April 2017

Herefordshire has strong links with the Armed Forces and we will again be showing our support for all the men and women who make up the armed forces community in the County. This community includes currently serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets.

We will be holding three events this year.

  1. Monday 19 June 2017 – Flag Raising Ceremony

To celebrate the start of Armed Forces week a flag raising ceremony will be held at 11.00am at the Hereford Bull Statute in High Town, Hereford.  There will be speeches by the Lord Lieutenant and Chairman of Herefordshire Council in the presence of the Royal British Legion Standard Bearers. There will also be performances by children from local Primary Schools.

  1. Saturday 24 June 2017 – Armed Forces Day

This event to be held in the Shire Hall and High Town Hereford from 10.00am to 3.00pm will include performances and/or displays and information stands from the armed forces, local branches of armed forces charities, local support groups and schools. Refreshments will also be available in the Shire Hall.

There will be a fly past by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (time to be confirmed), and the Band of The Rifles will be in attendance (to be confirmed).

  1. Saturday 24 June 2017 – Armed Forces Day Concert

This will be held in Shire Hall from 7.00pm to 9.00pm and will feature performances by Marches Military Wives Choir, Stretton Sugwas Primary School, Hereford Academy and The Shire Boys.

Admission will be free but with donations for local armed forces charities.

More information will be available closer to the date and will also be given on

1 February 2017
From County Councillor Carole Gandy


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.

The Border Group Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan is at present out for consultation and I would urge all of you to take a look at the plan and submit your comments.  This Plan is yours and its success is dependent on resident involvement in shaping it.

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 by 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 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  I am also always happy to come out to see you.

26 January 2017

When will I be able to get superfast broadband?

From BGPC draft minutes “Broadband provision across BGPC – 137 properties are not covered by the BT contract which ended in December. Residents can go to the BT website and put in their postcode to find out current status. Properties which are shown to be connected by end of December will be done by March 17. Ward Cllr Gandy requested to be notified if any residents contact the PC if their address is not shown on the fastershire website.”
Link to BT Openreach Postcode checker
Link to Fastershire Postcode checker

21 January 2017
Do you know an unsung hero in the county? Then nominate them for a £500 reward now. COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS A5 FLYER_2017_HFD16812

8 January 2017

The Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre (HARC)
Discover Your History at HARC “The history of your family, home and community lives at HARC.  This is where Herefordshire’s archives are collected, preserved and shared with you.wassailers
Our series of practical training sessions will help you make the most of these wonderful resources.  Expert guides will demonstrate how you can become researchers and make your own discoveries in the archives.”
Read the HARC Spring 2017 Newsletter here.
See Guide to Courses Jan – Jun 2017 here.
Join Wassail Singers around the fire for traditional songs Saturday 14th January 2017, 5pm – 6.30pm  read more….


POWER CUT?  CALL 105  For further information see Energy Networks Association website.  Read more

22 November 2016
The vacancy for Buckton & Coxall has been filled.  Tom Dixon was co-opted onto the Council at last night’s meeting.

3 November 2016

From County Councillor Carole Gandy :  ARTICLE FOR BORDER GROUP WEBSITE

I expect many of you are starting to think about Christmas and involved in organising village activities leading up to it.  I have been invited to a number of events at Wigmore School and am looking forward to them. I visited the school recently to pass on my congratulations on their very good exam results.

So far this Autumn the weather has been very kind to us and let’s hope this continues.  It is a testing time of year, particularly for those living in very rural areas.  Many roads are in need of resurfacing and I have submitted to Balfour Beatty a list of 6 roads which are particularly bad in Mortimer ward, stressing that rural roads are the motorists  life line for many who have no access to public transport. During this financial year no roads in Mortimer ward were resurfaced and with continuing financial restraints I am not optimistic about the coming year.

You will have heard about the recent Amey judgement which is good news in respect of £9.5 m being awarded to Herefordshire by the high court.  This payment however is subject to any stay pending appeal and even then will need to be held in a special reserve until any appeal process is exhausted.  This is one of a number of actions ongoing against Amey. Once this has been completed I will be urging the Cabinet to use a significant amount of that money on road maintenance.

I have discussed with officers the issue of faster broadband in Mortimer ward, the vast majority of the ward should be able to connect to this by the end of March at the latest but there will be some 350 properties which are not covered by the present BT contract.  A new contract provider has been approved and it is hoped that the final 350 properties will, if they choose, be able to connect by the end of 2017.  I recognise that this has been a slow process but I believe that BT under estimated how difficult it would be to provide connectivity in such a rural county.

Herefordshire is now preparing with some certainty for the arrival of up to 30 Syrian refugees on 29 November. We expect to receive a further similar number of Syrian refugees around early March 2017. The council and our partners are working to ensure we are prepared and confident in meeting the needs of the refugee families when they arrive.

Following a full procurement process, the council has selected Refugee Action to deliver its orientation and support service to help Syrian refugees settle into the county. Please see the announcement on the council’s newsroom for further information.

Housing has been sought in the greater Hereford area for the November arrivals. It is anticipated that all Syrian refugees will be housed in Hereford and it remains the expectation that all refugees will be accommodated in private sector accommodation.

Please use the dedicated website for dealing with refugee enquiries and offers of support. The web address is

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  I am also always happy to come out to see you.

14 October 2106 : Notice of Steering Group meeting and Agenda added on Neighbourhood Development Plan page.

13 October 2016 :  Notice of Conclusion of Audit (Year Ended 31 March 2016) added on Transparency Code page.

5 October 2016

A vacancy for a parish councillor for Buckton & Coxall has arisen.  The Notice Of Casual Vacancy can be seen here.  Read more..

1 October 2016

BGPC regrets to announce that Cllr Paul Derrick has resigned from his post as Chairman of Border Group Parish Council, and as Parish Councillor for Buckton & Coxall.    He will be greatly missed by all members.

Cllr Derrick’s letter of resignation can be read here.
BGPC’s letter responding to his resignation can be read here.

20 September 2016

From County Councillor Carole Gandy


I do hope that the weather this summer which has been somewhat mixed did not put a damper on fund raising or social events that you may have organised within your community, I always feel so sorry for  those who put a huge amount of work into organising an outdoor event only for it to pour down on the day, however in this country we seem to just put on an extra layer, or take a brolly and get on with it.

Barry and I popped up to Brampton Bryan on Saturday 9th July to their food and art event.  We sat and ate  our bacon rolls whilst listening to a really good New Orleans Band The Vintage Jazz Revival.  The event was  well attended despite the weather.

Some residents in Brampton Bryant have experienced problems in using their bus pass on the 498 to Hereford prior to 9.30 which is something I arranged for them.  I think the situation is now resolved but if you hear of any problems please let me know.

Along with the Parish Council I am still working with Herefordshire Council to get the Old Chapel in Adforton made safe. This building is very unsafe and nobody should attempt to enter it.

I was pleased to hear that thanks to the generosity of Lingen Village Hall and Border Group Parish Council, a defibrillator has now been installed at the Village Hall.  It is hoped that it will not be needed but it is important that all communities have easy  access to such an important facility.

I along with my husband visited Wigmore School in June to see their younger children celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.  It was a really enjoyable afternoon which culminated in the eating of a number of cup cakes.

I would also like to congratulate Wigmore School on their excellent GCSE results.  We are very lucky in Mortimer ward to have such a good school.

Herefordshire Council is in the process of revamping its website to make it more user friendly and will try wherever possible to use plain English, so for example instead of using the phrase “public rights of way” it will say “footpath”. It will also improve the search process, which will be based on services provided rather than the department in which they sit.

The Council has agreed with the Home Office that it can support up to 60 Syrian refugees (approximately 18 families) from the end of the year onwards with funding from the Home Office to provide services for their settlement.

For those of you thinking of, or already in the process of, setting up your own business, a number of useful sessions are being put on by the Marches Growth Hub.  These include Virgin Start-up Funding Drop In  sessions offering start up loans supported by advice and mentoring every Tuesday 10 – 2 pm and  Business Support Drop In sessions on October 28th and November 28th 10 – 2 pm at the Hereford Business Solutions Centre Skylon Court Hereford HR2 6JL.  These sessions are free. In the case of the Business Support Drop in sessions you need to register an interest on 01432 344424 or

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  I am also always happy to come out to see you.

2 August 2016

Herefordshire Council launches budget consultation
On July 29th Herefordshire Council launched its budget consultation for 2017/18 and is asking residents to participate and have their say.
The budget consultation will run until Friday 7 October and is asking residents for their views to help set future budgets and what residents might be able to do to help support their local communities.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “All councils across the country need to significantly reduce their budgets and make unprecedented changes to services because of substantial reductions in government funding and Herefordshire Council is no different.  From 2010 to the end of 2015/16, we delivered savings of £59million, but we must deliver further savings in order to balance our budget.
“We provide numerous services and spend around £328million annually, but with the reductions in government funding, we have a funding gap of £28million between now and 2019/20.  We want to hear from residents with ideas on how we can improve, whether that’s through the use of new technology, changing the way we do things or by working with other organisations, community groups or charities.”
To participate in the consultation visit or complete a form at any Herefordshire library or customer service centre.  Alternatively, send a Facebook message to hfdscouncil, Tweet #hfdsbudget or share your views with your local councillor.
All results will be published on our website later in the year.

6 June 2016

Commissioner Begins Work on Safer West Mercia Plan

John Campion has started work on his new Safer West Mercia Plan, and is inviting people to help shape local priorities for the next four years.

The plan will set out the Commissioner’s specific aims for making communities safer and reducing harm.

The Commissioner is inviting communities to make their voices heard from the outset, to ensure their opinions and needs are reflected in the final plan. To that end, an initial consultation has started, which will run until the 17th of June 2016. The responses will be analysed and used to help form a draft plan.

The consultation is in the form of a short electronic survey which will only take a few minutes to complete. To access the survey please click the link below:
If you are unable to complete the survey electronically please contact the OPCC office on 01905 331656 to make alternative arrangements.
Please remember the closing date for this survey is FRIDAY 17th JUNE 2016
Thank You
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner West Mercia Tel: 01905 331656

23 April 2016

speeding 4

Do you think cars are driving too fast through our villages?  Do you want Speed Indicator Devices (SIDS) in Border Group area?  Please respond to BGPC’s consultation. Click here to go to the consultation page.

17 February 2016

The Mobile Police Station will be at the following locations on 19/02/2016read more
Parish Council Budget for 2016 / 2017 : read more
Proposed Resurfacing Programme 2016 / 2017 :  read more


The Mobile Police Station will be at the following locations on 19/02/2016.

This is an opportunity to come and meet a member of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and tell us about the issues that are causing concern in your community.

Brimfield Village Shop 15:30 – 16:30
Orleton Village Hall 16:45 – 17:45
Leintwardine (Rosemary Lane) 18:00 – 19:00

Contact details: Telephone: 101
Twitter: @NHfdShireCops

9 February 2016
From County Councillor Carole Gandy


A belated Happy New Year to you all.  Although the weather has been very wet I am sure like me you are very pleased that we have had no snow and very few days when the roads were really icy.  However I know a number of residents in Mortimer ward have experienced some flooding issues.  Nationally this seems to be an ever increasing problem and I can’t imagine how awful it must be to have your property flooded.

The Council has set its budget for 2016/17 which will see at 3.9% increase in Council Tax excluding whatever increase is considered by the Fire, Police and Parish Council.  The increase will provide £1.9% (£1.6m) to protect council services including safeguarding our vulnerable children and 2% (£1.7m) to alleviate the significantly rising costs of adult social care for the county’s higher than average ageing population and the additional difficulties encountered in delivering this service in very rural areas.  The proposed increase will mean a rise of around £4 per month for those living in a band D property.

Since 2010/11 the Council has been required to deliver £59m of savings and by 2019/20 this will have risen to £87m and this has meant having to make some very difficult decisions on what the Council spends its money on and how it spends its money.

A consequence of this is that the money available to Balfour Beatty for road re-surfacing and dressing has been reduced and this may well mean that some of those roads which residents have requested by resurfaced, may not be in the programme for the coming financial year.

I would like to remind you that Hereford & Worcester Fire Service provide for the elderly, people living alone and those with reduced mobility a free of charge Home Fire Safety Check which involves a representative from the Service calling at your home to offer safety advice specific to your household and personal circumstances.  To see if you qualify for this free service please do not hesitate to contact the Community Risk team on 0800 032 1155 quoting reference PN14.

A Service to Civvy Street booklet has been launched designed to provide information to ex-service personnel and their families and to help them navigate their way through healthcare, employment, housing etc.  The booklet was funded by  the Armed Forces Covenant Grant. Electronic link

As ever if you wish to contact me to discuss a particular matter or just a general chat do not hesitate to do so either by emailing or phoning on 01568 780583

7 December 15

The  Border Group Neighbourhood Plan Public Consultation draft  can be seen on the Neighbourhood Development Plan page, together with the Response Form; Official Notice; Environmental Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment.

The consultation runs from 8.00 am on Monday 14th December 2015 until 5.00 pm on Monday 8th February 2016.

Completed Response Forms may be forwarded as described or posted/handed in.

19 October 15

from County Cllr Carole Gandy
August was a quiet month for the Council but I know that wasn’t the case in the parishes where numerous events including  fetes, scarecrow competitions, garden produce shows and gardens open to the public were taking place, many in aid of good causes.  There is no doubt that many residents of Mortimer ward are very active in their communitybut I am sure the villages could always do with more volunteers.

Lingen is one such parish, where my husband and I visited the Lingen Stitchers and Needling Along Exhibition held in the church.  I, in my spare time, like to do cross stitch, but could never compete with the high standard on display that week-end.  We also indulged in some scrumptious cake.

This was followed on Friday 25th September with wonderful sandwiches and cake at the MacMillan Tea Party held in Lingen Village Hall.  It was very well attended and I  hope they made lots of money for such a good cause.  I am sure all of us know of someone who has had cancer or is going through treatment at present.

I along with Bill Wiggin MP toured the area with the Lingen Community Broadband team looking at the fantastic work they are doing to bring broadband to local communities and isolated properties.  I have told them that I will forward any information I get on avenues of funding.  Although   broadband will at some point in the future reach many of the parishes in Mortimer ward, there will still be those too isolated to benefit from this and for them the Lingen Community Broadband is a must.

I have been asked by the Parish Council to see what can be done about the very derelict property in Adforton and I will do my best to find a resolution.

I am pleased to see that work has taken place to set back the wall at Walford which will be a great improvement for motorists.  Thanks are due to the Parish Council who have pursued this matter on your behalf for a long time.

I had a site visit with a representative of Balfour Beatty to look at the footpaths in Lingen and Willey which are due to be designated as restricted byways.  I am confident that we shall be able to achieve what is required by the legislation without  effecting resident properties or gardens.  In fact most of the proposed restricted byways already comply with the legislation and will only require the cutting back of some ground covering plants and the replacement of stiles with gates.

I  met with PCSO Knight to discuss policing matters in the Mortimer ward.  He advised that although crime was relatively low in the ward, there had been a number of agricultural equipment stolen and properties burgled. It is really important that we all keep a look out for those vehicles or people acting suspiciously.

I was invited to the opening of the refurbished Hereford Leisure Centre on the 18th September and was very impressed with what I saw.  In particular, if you have a son or daughter who is really interested in gymnastics, the facilities here are second to none.

Myself and a group of councillors met with the Care Quality Commission, prior to their recent inspection of Hereford County Hospital.  As you know the hospital had a bad inspection previously and I am hoping that this time it will show considerable improvement.  I am sure most of you who have the unfortunate necessity to attend have a good experience, but that has not been the case for all residents.

The Herefordshire Local Plan was endorsed on the 16th October at Full Council.  I know that not everyone is happy with all that it contains but it will make it much more difficult for speculative developers to have their plans passed.  It is now up to the individual parishes, where appropriate to submit their Neighbourhood Development Plans for examination by Herefordshire Council.

Cllr Carole Gandy


10 October 2015
Minutes of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group Meeting 30 June 2015 are now available under Planning

27 August 15

Three links from Balfour Beatty:

14 August 15

Message to the Parish Council from Balfour Beatty about ditches:

“We have been asked by our asset management team leader to forward the information below to you to assist with the management of ditches in your areas:
The majority of ditches adjacent to the highways are not the responsibility of the Local Highway Authority, or in the case of Lengthsman schemes of Parish Councils, to maintain. They are Riparian Ditches which are the responsibility of the adjacent landowner. Please see the information leaflet for further details. Council funding should not be utilised to maintain Riparian Ditches. If Parish Councils wish to maintain Riparian Ditches, they should ensure no conflict of interest exists, ie Landowners on the Parish Council, and also write to the Riparian Owner confirming that the works are being done on a temporary basis and this does not constitute acceptance of responsibility for on-going maintenance of the ditch being transferred to the Parish.
The only ditches that are the responsibility of a Highway Authority to maintain are ditches that are installed as part of new road construction.
If Parishes are in doubt as to whether a ditch is Riparian or not, they should enquire with their Locality Steward in the first instance.”

Apr 15
Message for landowners from Mortimer Locality Steward:
Mud-on-roadCan I ask that Parish Clerks circulate the following information around their parishes?  We are currently experiencing increased reports of mud on the road, and would ask that parishes work with their local landowners to remind them of their responsibilities to keep mud off the highway.  The NFU has published some useful guidance at and this outlines the legal position quite clearly.  We are keen to work with landowners and farmers to keep the highways as unobstructed and clear from mud, and as safe as possible.

Link to Consultation on Speed Indicator Devices (closed 30 June 2016)