March Parish Council Update
I unfortunately have received many emails from concerned residents in relation to flooding since October last year. I have raised the issue with the Cabinet Member of Housing, Infrastructure and Transport and I am in the process of meeting with key Council Officers to discuss the flooding and what can be done to reduce the likelihood of future flooding events within Wormside.
Herefordshire Council has received emergency government funding by way of the Bellwin grant to support residents and businesses directly affected by the recent flooding. Over 380 hardship payments have already been paid out with payments of up to £500 per resident and £2,500 per business. The Council has also offered free collection of flood damaged items from houses and waved the usual trailer permits to deposit flood households debris to transfer sites. If your home or business has been impacted by the recent flooding please go the website below and get the latest information. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200196/roads/345/flooding/3. The website has information about clean-up & disposal, financial support, users of septic tanks and private water supplies, sandbags, emotional support, insurance and how to stay up-to-date with future information.
The other impact has been on our highways — Please can I encourage you all to report any EMERGENCY defects and potholes by phone 01432 261800 or for non-emergency defects, by logging on the Herefordshire Council website https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200196/roads
Herefordshire Council are working closely with colleagues in Public Health England and the local NHS to ensure we have robust systems and processes in place to respond to the coronavirus situation in the county as it emerges. Information received from the Council indicate that we are well prepared for any confirmed UK cases, that there are tried and tested procedures to prevent further spread and that the NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections. The risk to individuals remains low at this time and over 99% of people tested in the UK have tested negative. If you do have questions, please refer to the latest COVID-19 guidance that can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
Herefordshire Council has an annual budget of £380m which is used to deliver services to over 187,000 residents. These services include maintenance of over 2,000 miles of roads, collection of over 85,000 residential bins, safeguarding around 1,000 children (including 354 in the council’s care) and providing care and support to 2,500 vulnerable adults. Full Council on 14 February 2020 approved the ‘County Plan 2020-2024’ and associated 2020/21 budget, Capital Programme, Medium Term Financial Strategy and Treasury Management Plan. An increase to Herefordshire Council Tax rates was approved at 3.9% in order to achieve a balanced budget. We also managed to win an amendment by one vote to put aside an additional £2 million for Unclassified and C roads including drainage.
Hereford Transport Strategy
The Hereford transport strategy review will include an assessment of the proposed Hereford Bypass and Southern Link Road, alongside alternative options. The review is expected to be completed by 31 July 2020 and feedback received by 31 March 2020 will be considered in the review. I would encourage as many of you as possible to take part and submit your comments via https://travelinhereford.commonplace.is/
Working with Hereford College of Arts and a range of private sector partners and investors, the Council has enabled the development of a £19 million, 178 bedroom student accommodation development in Hereford which should be complete in time for higher education students to move in for the academic year starting September 2020. Delivery of 127 modular ‘pods’, will be transported as large loads, some with escort vehicles, and delivered to the site over four weeks, starting on 10 February 2020 until w/c 9 March 2020. There will be six deliveries each week day (seven on the final day) between 9.30am and 3.30pm. These bedrooms and study spaces have been built off site using an innovative construction method and will be assembled as they arrive.
Hereford Cultural Partnership
The Herefordshire Cultural Partnership is looking for a new Chair. Do you know anybody who might fit this role? The role of the HCP is to:
- Champion Herefordshire’s cultural strategy and cultural ambition.
- Identify and support initiatives, which attract funding and investment for creative and cultural activity.
- Oversee the development and delivery of the Cultural Strategy 2019-29, producing an annual action plan with specific objectives and targets.
- Support strategic programmes and identify key initiatives to deliver the Cultural Strategy action plan.
- Take collective responsibility for ensuring that cultural funding is allocated properly and against agreed priorities.
- Monitor activity against the Cultural Strategy’s Strategic Objectives and Key Actions and publish an annual review.
- Examine and respond to local, regional, national and international environments and policies to ensure that the Cultural Strategy’s vision and objectives remain valid.
Adult Mental Health
This year Healthwatch are focusing on the topic of adult mental health and people’s experiences of this within their GP surgery; including how mental health support is delivered, who you would like to be seen by for your mental health as well as the effects of physical ill health on your mental health and vice versa. The new transformation fund for the next two years will see an additional £5 million invested to pilot new models of delivering services for mental health in primary care across Herefordshire and parts of Worcestershire, as well as a general increase in NHS funding (The Mental Health Investment Standard).
The Council are trying to reach people from all over the county who have or are experiencing poor mental health, and are encouraging as many people as possible to take part in a survey so they can gather feedback to influence how services can best serve the public. https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5312442/Mental-Health-2019-2020
Callow & Haywood Parish
I have been particularly busy since our last meeting in relation to planning and enforcement. Areas that I have been involved in include Suzuki, Gamber, Grafton Wood, Kivernoll, and Lower Bullinghope. I have also met with officers to discuss several Traffic Regulation Orders and have had various meetings with the Lead Development Officer in relation to Callow & Haywood planning matters.
I have also met with BBLP to discuss 2020/21 planned activity. Given the level of recent flooding and the impact this has had on the roads, current planned activity may be subject to change. However, at this time, Haywood Lane (C1226) is scheduled for surface dressing and sections of Tram Inn Lane (C1228) is scheduled for resurfacing. I am also campaigning to have Dewsall Lane and various drainage requests included in the 2020/21 program.