Sunday, 30 December 2007

Census Data for Tenbury Wells

Tenbury WellsLondonUK
Avg. age:4440.139
Avg commute (miles):11.76.38.7
Gender ratio (female / male):1.041.041.05
Population in good health:68%71.5%69%
Home ownership:16.2%17.3%16.9%
Students:1.8%6.8%4.4%


As usual Government statistics pose as many questions as they answer.

Tenbury has a slightly older than average population, but very few children of school age. This must mean that they have a higher than average number of "twentysomethings", but if I had been asked I would have guessed that we had a high number of over 60s and a low number of 20s.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

No Way to Run a Business Park


The Bromyard Road Business Park, owned and managed by a complex partnership of MHDC, WCC & AWM, has for years suffered from a lack of investment.

The original concept of providing starter units for small companies has been totally lost by allowing up to 6 units to be used by one company.

The council claim that no other businesses have wanted to move onto the site, but numerous enquiries and requests have been rebuffed.

Once the ill conceived Biomass Plant scheme has been stopped, then we must pursue our elected representatives to allow this site to be properly developed with additional 'White Collar" accommodation built on plot 2 & 3, and additional proper small starter units built on plot 1.

Biomass Visit


Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire, met with Dr George Lord the leader of Worcestershire County Council, today at the proposed site of WCC sponsored Biomass Incineration plant.

The meeting was also attended by Cllr Bob Martin, Mayor of Tenbury & Cllr Reg Farmer, County Councillor.

Local opposition and general opinion has branded this site as inappropriate since the scheme was proposed earlier this year.

The project was initiated by WCC with sponsorship from AWM as a way to off-set their carbon emissions.

After the meeting, held at one of the premises where jobs are likely to be lost due to relocation if the scheme goes ahead, the group went on to visit a possible alternative site.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

What's On? - Not a lot!

The web site of Malvern Hills District Council's very expensive (if you believe the budget) tourist information centre in Tenbury, reports that almost nothing is happening in Tenbury over the next few months except for some rather exclusive events for the well healed at our number one town centre posh eatery.

Do they only list the events at this one establishment, because it's the only one that proactively provides information, or is it because this is the establishment where visiting officials seems to be fed and watered!

Bah Humbug!

I know it's the season of goodwill, but really!

I am an ardent supporter of small post offices, but having queued for ages at the Teme Street PO (OK that's not their fault all the desk were open), I found that they had sold out of both Christmas Stamps and Self Adhesive stamps. Don't they know it's Christmas!

Seem to remember that very same thing happened last year. Are Christmas Stamps rationed, or do the Post Offices have to pay extra for them.

I did buy 40 or 50 stamps last month but they just got used up so I needed more.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

River Teme, Floods again.

The residents of Tenbury Wells wait to see if they are to be flooded for a fourth time in six months. Its 142 days since the start of the last flood, and reports from Leintwardine say that the Teme was already at capacity at lunchtime on Saturday.

The situation at Tenbury at midday showed that the Teme still had several metres of capacity before the town was at risk.Teme at Tenbury 12.00 09/12/07

Tenbury Wells gets two new water features.

Following the hours of torrential rain, field "run off" is once again swelling Kyre Brook.

Steps leading to the stepping stones
Thanks to the work carried out by the Environment Agency, Kyre Brook is flowing much quicker than in recent times, however the drainage in Teme Street seems to be as inefficient as ever.

Flood outside Temeside House

Friday, 7 December 2007

Slow response from WCC.

WCC staff have finally re-erected the safety barrier at the former Victorian Toilet site.

Although the task only took 10 minutes to perform, it took 7 days for the staff to arrive.

WCC, who are so quick to claim that actions have been carried out for 'Health & Safety' reasons, seem to have scant regard for maintaining things like safety barriers.

The barrier blew over last Friday night and was put up again this morning.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

An inconvenient time to die (or be born)

For a number of years the WCC Registrars service has allowed the relatives of the recently deceased or the parents of new born children to register the event by appointment at the Pump Rooms in Tenbury Wells.

Since the flood in July 2007 this service has been suspended, so anyone needing to see a Registrar has had to travel to Worcester or Kidderminster.

Now we have a new WHUB in Tenbury surely there is no reason why this service cannot be reintroduced, or is this yet another case of a service being removed from Tenbury to save money.

Is Tenbury behind the times?

Tenbury Library Clock Time doesn't so much stand still in Tenbury, but it certainly lags behind. There may be a shiny new WHUB in Teme Street, but the large clock has shown the incorrect time for quite a while.

To ensure accuracy at all times the clock automatically updates using the Atomic time signal from Rugby. With the signal travelling at roughly 186,282 miles per second, the clock should by rights be correct.

I'm told that the clock will correct when it receives a pulse?

How often the clock checks for a pulse depends on the system installed. Usually once a second or once a minute. I doubt very much it is once a week or more!

Tenbury Closed for 6 months

At last nights Tenbury Town Council Meeting a representative from Worcester County Council delivered the devastating news, that the repairs to the wall in Market Street could not start until April at the earliest and would take at least six months to complete.

During this time, temporary traffic lights would be in operation and for some periods the road would be completely shut.
Photo supplied by www.freephoto.comThis news was met with complete condemnation and derision, from the full Council and members of the public alike.

The designer of the wall from Halcrow explained that they planned to build a brick faced, solid concrete wall 5' high. Pipes would be installed in the wall to allow any water to escape from the road into the brook, but non return valves would prevent water flowing from the brook into the road.

From the experience of a few days of traffic control earlier in the year when traffic queued back past the High School in the St Michaels direction and the Aspire Centre in the Ludlow direction, six months of control is likely to devastate the towns traders and drive residents to distraction.
Image supplied by www.FreeFoto.comMy previous blog on this issue http://tenburywells.blogspot.com/2007/08/more-traffic-chaos-in-planning.html

It must be remembered that this problem was initially caused by poor planning and drains maintenance, even the pipes in the original wall were blocked. It was further exacerbated, by the way the toilets were demolished.

The Town Council delivered a very strong message that the plans were not acceptable and have asked the Project Team to think again.

Suggestions that I have received so far are:-
  • Traders should be given Business Rate relief for the period of disruption as Trade will be affected as the Town WILL be gridlocked and be a regular feature on all traffic reports thus driving away many potential visitors.

  • Image supplied by www.FreeFoto.com
  • Diversion signs should start on the A49 just outside Leominster and on the A44 at Bromyard.

  • The works schedule should be published and suitable gaps be left for delivery lorries.

  • Any temporary traffic lights should be correctly installed with sensor phasing so that no green phases are offered to empty roads.

  • Image supplied by www.FreeFoto.com
  • The lights should only be used when work is in progress and removed at nights and at week end.

  • Manual control should be implemented during the morning and evening peak periods.

Shropshire Star

Xmas Lights Fiasco - "Not our fault" say Council

Tenbury at NightAt the Town Council meeting on Monday the 3rd December 2007 the Mayor explained, that the very poor Christmas Light display in Tenbury Wells is not the fault of Tenbury Town Council.

In previous years, a separate 'Lights Committee' was responsible for raising money and organising the Christmas display.

Unfortunately it was noted rather late in the day that this committee had disbanded and no-one had the responsibility for the provision of the lights.

If it hadn't been for the intervention of the Town Council and Malvern Hills District Council, no lights would have been erected this year.

Once a professional festival lights contractor had been appointed it was discovered that most of the lights used in previous years, some built on 5 bar gates, where unsafe, not fit for purpose or no longer suitable. The few lights that could be used have been erected.

Looking forward, fund raising will begin early in 2008, and new, modern, low energy use displays will be acquired for use next year to create a spectacular new show.

Other Links
Richard Burt

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Mistletoe Festival

An unusual cast of characters assembled in Tenbury today for the Mistletoe Festival.

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria graced us with her presence, and was said to be 'greatly amused'.

The Jacks of Frost The Jacks of Frosts brought a shiver to the proceedings.

Matt Barnard

Matt Barnard, the 20 stone (his estimate) Christmas tree fairy, endangered us all with his knife juggling act whilst riding a unicycle.

More photos can be seen by following this link.


There is also a video, which due to technical problems (Operator incompetence) is only available on it side!
video

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Biomass Power Generation

The planning permission for the Power Station that was expected to be submitted in May, still seems to be on hold. The questions about how Green, Biomass generation actually is, and whether the emissions are dangerous or not still continues.

There is also the question about how many of these incinerators are planned for Worcester. A recent trade article claims ten, WCC say only the one in Tenbury is planned. Is this correct or political jargon for we would like ten but have only drawn up plans for one.

The Tenbury & Burford Civic Society have arranged for an independent toxicologist and retired GP to talk about the dangers of emissions, at the Royal Oak on Market Street next Wednesday 28th November at 7.30pm.

We know that WCC have a vested interest in pushing ahead with their plans, but there is still a big question about whether this really is the best solution and an appropriate site.

Worcester News

Friday, 16 November 2007

Temeside House

It looks like Temeside House has been sold.

The unique, but poorly neglected Temeside House on Teme Street, Tenbury Wells has been sold by Malvern Hills District Council for an undisclosed sum.

Temeside House

Although Temeside House itself was unaffected by the recent floods, a number of substantial offers were withdrawn by prospective purchasers.

I believe that there is now only one, much reduced offer on the table, and this has been accepted by Malvern Hills District Council who are desperate for the money to help balance their books, and to fund their new offices.

The hope that this premises would remain in public ownership and be run as part museum and part tourist attraction now look to be dashed.

What the prospective new owners plan for the site is unknown.

The suspicion remains that Malvern Hills District Council are asset stripping Tenbury remains, (see Bromsgrove Advertiser)

Tenbury Wells Advertiser
Worcester News

Bill Wiggins MP

Mr Bill Wiggins, Member of Parliament for Leominster, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs was in Tenbury today to meet local people.

Bill Wiggin MP
At the end of a hectic and well attended surgery, he met with a delegation from the Tenbury Civic Society and Tenbury Action Group to discuss in detail the proposed Biomass Power Station.

Bill Wiggin in discussion with Fran Buckingham



Bill Wiggin in discussion with Fran Buckingham, Secretary Tenbury & Burford Civic Society

Beware of Dragons

Tenbury Dragon

Have a family of Welsh Dragons moved in, under the arches of Tenbury Wells historic bridge?

Well no, just a graffiti buster using a steam cleaner.

Looks like there's trouble ahead

A mobile dot matrix information display machine has been installed at the gateway to Tenbury Wells.

Traffic Matrix Sign
This almost certainly indicates that a major road is about to be closed somewhere locally.

The best guess is the A4112 somewhere near St Michaels.

I have to wonder who picked the location for the display. If you are coming from the A49, then it's almost impossible to read unless you are in a queue waiting to turn right. If you are coming from Worcester then you would have just spotted it as you turn, and depending where it was in the message cycle, you probably would still have no idea what it said?

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Tenbury New Town

With more refurbishments moving into their final stages, Tenbury's shops are beginning to look like they have been taking part in a make over show.

I read recently that on average shops re-fit every 5 years. I don't think that ever applied here, but now the work has been done, Tenbury will be able to compete on shopping style as well as friendly service (and very often on price).

I am concerned that no physical progress has been made on what Central TV referred to as 'The Bomb Site', I really don't think that 'Snail Park' (So I am told) is Tenbury's very own ground zero, but I had hoped by now that some stabilisation work could have begun.
Snail Park during Applefest

It's a few years now (decades actually) since I was involved in canal restoration, but I don't remember piling being such a massive engineering feat that it took 6 months to plan.

Hopefully someone will enlighten me to what progress has actually been made rather than the rather unhelpful reports that I have heard about discussions having taken place.

It really would be a shame if all the good work done by the traders is undone by lack of progress on reinstating the Kyre Brook retaining wall.

Biomass Emissions - Is there is no escape?

Whether you think a biomass fired power station in Tenbury Wells is a good idea or not, if Worcester County Councils plans are implemented then few people in the county will be unaffected by their emissions.

The County Council are planning to build 10 biomass fired power stations, and take a 19% equity interest in each, with the balance being made up by commercial investors.

(Update 15/11/07) I have heard today that the Council are denying that they have plans to build 10 power stations. They did express a desire to generate 25Mw of power to enable them to become carbon neutral, and the power plants that they are planning do generate 2.5Mw each. Make of that what you will!

The power stations, which are relatively inefficient and are only commercially viable with government financial support, will do nothing to reduce overall pollution.

If you are wondering why the Council are supporting this venture, it has little to do with security of supply, or environmental concerns, but is much more to do with a book balancing exercise.

Councils are required to become Carbon Neutral, and rather than take the more traditional method of examining working practices, reducing energy consumption, converting their fleet of vehicles to Biofuel etc, they have calculated that if they build 10 biomass fueled power stations, this will balance the books.

The Tenbury Action Group has booked a prominent independent toxicologist to come and speak at a public meeting in Tenbury Wells, to clarify the health impact.

Dr Dick van Steenis is a retired GP who takes a special interest in the health effects of fine particulates. These wood-fired power stations would emit fine particulates, known as PM2.5 and PM1, depending on their size. These particles are so small that they can be breathed in.

Dr van Steenis says that some of the adverse effects include birth defects, premature deaths, cot deaths, autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, lower IQ, asthma, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, strokes and cancers.

He will speak in Tenbury Wells on November 28th, at the Royal Oak on Market Street. The event starts at 7.30pm and after the talk there will be a question and answer session. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Tenbury Action Group Press Statement.
Shropshire Star Petition signed by 2500
Shropshire Star Bishops Castle Group object to Power Plan
Shropshire Star Dr Dick van Steenis to talk on power fears

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Drainage in Tenbury Wells

We have known for quite some time that the drains in Tenbury Wells are not up to standard. The minutes of the Town Council are littered with references to blocked drains.

Whilst there is some excuse why the drains in the 'historic' town centre may be inadequate due to their age and design, it is incredible to find that the drains in the more modern parts of Tenbury are probably also sub-standard.

During the flash flood earlier in the year, water poured down the High School Drive and from Dark Orchard and Wheeler Orchard to flood the houses opposite.

A recent investigation into the state of the drainage has revealed that no one knows where the drains are, how big they are, or where they go. No plans or maps exist!

Perhaps this is normal practice at MHDC or are the drains the responsibility of WCC?

I hear that the drains in this small area are to be investigated and recorded.

Pump Rooms Open Day

The Tenbury Wells Pump Room will be open for visits this Saturday 10th November 2007 from 10.30 am to 1 p.m.


Free admission, all welcome.

Organised by the Tenbury Tourism Group, in conjunction with the Tenbury and Burford Civic Society.

Pump Rooms Reopen - ITV News

Pump Rooms













An ITV Central News team, were in town today to film the re-opened Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms.

They interviewed Tourism spokesman Chris Dell, District Councillor,
Tony Penn and the Mayoress, Mrs Martin.
Looking down the well
After the filming at the Pump Rooms, they went on a walk-about around town to look at some of the restoration projects still in progress. The results of all the filming were finally transmitted on Sunday night and were rather disappointing!


Kyre Bridge, Tenbury Wells








There was some confusion whether the restoration work at the Pump Rooms had been completed. A representative from the 'Hub' believed that internal decoration and carpeting of some of the rooms had been planned. District Councilor Tony Penn, expressed his concern and dissatisfaction about the quality of the finish applied to the floor in the 'Assembly Room' and will take this up with Ivor Pumfrey, Head of Environmental Services at MHDC.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Free Parking in Tenbury

As a token of their great generosity, Malvern Hills District Council have bestowed on the good people of Tenbury free parking starting from 30th November and lasting until Christmas.
Well that's the headline. The small print is that it only applies to parking on Fridays and Saturdays. Thankfully there is a good amount of Free Parking available in Tenbury if you know where to look.
That is a total of 8 days. This will loose the Council approximately £336 in revenue, about £4.20 per shop or 10p per head of population of Tenbury.

Of course they could have allowed free parking for the whole month but that would have been 36p per person!

Malvern Hills DC official position is as I understand it, that if they allow free car parking in one car park, then they have to allow it in all. Although the Teme Street Car Park provides only a minimal amount of revenue, other car parks in the district are big money earners.
Due to the small number of Tax generating properties in Tenbury, the facilities in Tenbury are a drain in the districts resources. Perhaps if the council had been more proactive in developing the business park, the area may have at least been revenue neutral?

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Pump Rooms Reopen

The Tenbury Wells historic pump rooms were reopened today by Mayor Cllr & Mrs Bob Martin.

In his opening speech the Mayor paid tribute to the role played by the partnership between Advantage West Midlands and Malvern Hills District Council.

He went on to say that he hoped this opening ceremony would be symbolic of a new Tenbury.

Following the opening ceremony the Pump Rooms were opened to the public for tours, including areas which had not previously been available until the Malvern Hills DC office had been vacated on Friday.

It later emerged that although the rooms were now available for hire, the restoration had not been completed, with many of the walls remaining very damp and undecorated. The restoration to the floor appears to be incomplete. As this is a grade 2* listed building the Civic Society have asked the conservation officer to investigate.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Market Street - Tenbury Wells

Following the 3rd Flood of Summer 2007
2 out of 21 Shops in Market Street Tenbury Wells are still closed. (as at 02/03/08)

Name Business Trading Refurbished Comments
Marilyn Ladies Fashions
26, Market St,
01584 811662
Clothes Shops - Ladies
Yes Yes Reopened late October
The Barn Shop Fruit, Veg & Plants Yes Yes Reopened early August
The Little Fish Shop Wet Fish Sales Yes Yes Opened Feb 08
Pet Shop

18, Market Street

Pet Shop

Yes Yes Reopened Late November
Sue Ryder Charity Shop Yes Yes Reopened 19th September
The Hair Shop
16, Market St,
01584 819564
Hairdressers
Yes Yes
Phil @ The Clockhouse Deli & Butchers Yes Yes Reopened Late November
Whites @ The Clockhouse Restaurant Yes Yes
Royal Oak Pub Yes Yes Reopened 12th November
Singapore Restaurant

6-8 Market Street
01584 811544

Chinese Restaurant

Yes Yes Reopened Feb 08
The Spotty Dog Tea Room Yes Yes
St Michaels Hospice

1-2 Market St,

01584 819898

Charity Shop

No Started No Floor open to cellar
New Floor layed Feb 08
Richard C Swift Ltd Bakers No Started No Floor open to cellar
New Floor layed Feb 08
Ruffles Curtain Shop Yes Yes Fully reopened Jan 08
Yuh Wah 17 Market Street
01584 810885
Chinese Takeaway
Yes No Not Flooded
Caldicott

15 Market Street
01584 810281

Funeral Directors

Yes Yes
Caldicott

15 Market Street

01584 810561

Builders Merchant

Yes Yes
Femina Hair Styles
9, Market St,
01584 810107
Hairdressers
Yes Yes
The Embroidery Shop
7, Market St,
01584 810906
Needlecraft Retailers
No In Progress Due to open March 08
Mr Bens Gents Barbers Yes Yes Opened as Gents Barbers Jan 08
Country Flowers

5, Market Street,

01584 819446

Florist

Yes Yes Reopened Feb 08


Co Op comes to Tenbury

Dust off those divi cards, the Co-Op is coming to Tenbury.

The former Spar in Bromyard Road, now trading as Star is shortly to metamorphosise yet again, and this time into a Co-Op.

This store will be the Co-Ops Bromyard Road, Tenbury store not to be mistaken for their Tenbury Road, Bromyard store.

The Co-Op is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with a turnover of more than £9 billion, 4.5 million members and 87,500 employees.

It operates over 4,500 trading outlets throughout the UK, including food stores.

Is this a change for the better? Only time will tell.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

The Pump Rooms, Tenbury Wells.



In common with many buildings in Tenbury Wells the historic Pump Rooms have been closed since the floods in July.














Now they have been dried out and restored they will reopened on Sunday November 4th, at 10.30am, by the Mayor of Tenbury Wells.

The November 4th Open Day runs until 1pm and is organised by the Tenbury Tourism Group and the Tenbury and Burford Civic Society.

Everyone is very welcome.



(More photo's)

Tenbury Wells was flooded three times in Summer 2007
19th June at approx. 18.00 hrs
17th July at approx. 14.45 hrs
20th July at approx. 18.00 hrs

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Tenbury Biomass Project

The Worcester County Council flagship Biomass Pilot Project continues to run into problems.

The planning permission, which the project's own website still maintains will be applied for in May, has still to be submitted.

All the documents are now with MHDC, but no-one from the Project Team can find the cheque book, so until the Planning Fee has been paid, no further progress is possible.

The future of this project must be in doubt.

Even WCC Energy Manager said "there are valid concerns of project from objective groups"

The cost of fueling this plant, which is only viable with Government Subsidies, has also taken another blow, with the EU allowing existing 'set aside' land to be bought back into cultivation for cereal crops to tackle the current world shortage. How many farmers will want to plant 'long term' crops such as Willow, when they can plant 'short term' premium crops such as Potatoes and Wheat.

Far better to concentrate the Council resources on energy reduction and schemes such as solar panels for council properties, that to invest in a plant that is untried, not wanted and a 'white elephant' waiting to happen.

Pity the Tourist

Picture the tourist who decides to come to Tenbury for the day.

They visit the MHDC Official Tourist Information Centre website, and print off the town map.

So far so good.

They arrive in the Town, park the car and go in search of the TIC to stock up on leaflets, but alas the TIC is not where it is shown on the map. They wander down Teme Street and round the corner into Market Street. They are looking for the toilets shown on the map that they printed that very morning, but the toilets are missing, instead they pass shop after shop that are dark, have notices promising to open soon, some with boarded up windows, others with no floors.

They turn and head for the Council Offices to make a complaint about being misled, but find that the Council Offices shown on the map are those of the Town Council, and not the District Council. They also find that the Cattle Market is no more, just a dusty/muddy car park.

Never mind. The pavements are clean.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Applefest 2007

Congratulations to the organisers of Applefest 2007.





A good time was had by all.

A fantastic display of apple varieties, displays from the Bee Keepers Association, a pole laithing demonstration, and street entertainment, plus the Tenbury staples of Sausage Tasting, Hot Pork Rolls, Car Boot Fair, and much more besides.

Previous short comings like the lack of toilets had been addressed, and the events were well signposted.

See the link opposide for more photographs.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tenbury Renamed by Welsh Water

Tenbury - A Stronghold by the River Teme.

We should by all probability be called Tembury.

Bury is a Saxon name meaning a stronghold, and Ten is likely to have been a variation of the spelling of the River Teme.

Welsh Water working in Bromyard have decided on their sign that is should be spelt Tenbry. Bry is usually a variation of By, so we are now By Teme.

So no longer a stronghold.

Local Fatal Accident

Today we hear the sad news of a motorist being killed on a local road after a collision with a tractor. The full story is as yet unclear, but I have become increasingly concerned about the way very large tractors are being used on local roads.

I have no issue with local farmers moving their machinery from farm to field, but the large scale activity of the Potato Gangs are bringing the existing rules into disrepute.

These gangs use very large agricultural tractor and trailer units to circumvent the road haulage rules when moving (mainly) the potato harvest from field to processing centre.

By using Tractors, rather than lorries, the drivers need no special training, only a car licence, they can run on Red Diesel (tax reduced), they run without tachographs and can work long hours, with no rest days.

We do not yet know what caused the recent accident, but it would quite possible that the tractor driver had been working 12 or more hours since dawn, driving back a forth from field to processing centre, and not just short distances but up to 50 miles each way.

It is also possible, from what I have seen in the last few weeks, that the tractor was travelling at excessive (for that type of vehicle) speeds and with the driver using a mobile phone!

Only this afternoon a tractor came around the bend by the Pembroke Pub travelling at about 40 mph, and this was at school pick up time. If there had been a queue of traffic held back by the crossing patrol, I cannot see how the tractor would have stopped.

I think it is time for a review and clarification of how these units are being used.

Update: This accident appears to have been caused by the motorist loosing control rather than any fault by the tractor driver.

Traffic Chaos returns to Tenbury

Once again traffic chaos returned to Tenbury Wells. This time to facilitate the steam cleaning of the pavements.

Due to the need to shut the pavements during the operation, the parking spaces were shut off from vehicles to allow them to be used by pedestrians.

The result, chaos! Traffic queued back to the Aspire Centre and beyond as the fleet of contractors vehicles which still occupy the majority of on-street parking whilst building restoration continues struggled to find alternate accommodation.

I guess the council wanted to make the pavements look clean for applefest, but with so much building work still ongoing surely it is too early?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Royal Visit

I think it speaks volumes about the way MHDC handled the Market Street toilet fiasco when the Duke of Gloucester, who is a trained architect, said "I do think it's a shame you weren't able to lift it (the toilet building) out as a historic monument"

Shame in deed!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Environment Agency Work in Tenbury

It seems the Toilet Block is really still there and only the wall is missing!

(Environment Agency Press Release - 2/10/2007)
An Environment Agency workforce is clearing a two mile stretch of clogged waterway on the Kyre Brook at Tenbury Wells. They have been tasked with removing a tangle of trees, bushes and general debris, as well as securing parts of the embankment from sliding into the water. All of it is the legacy of a rain-soaked summer.

The brook runs through the top end of Tenbury and joins the River Teme downstream of the town.

Tenbury Wells suffered severe flooding on three occasions, bringing misery and disruption to large parts of the town. Now, work is underway to fully restore Kyre Brook, a tributary of the River Teme, to its former self.

But the summer deluge proved too much on three separate occasions, with torrential downpours bringing down trees along the bank of the stream, which had swollen into a fast moving torrent. It was this debris which quickly choked the stream, making it the first to flood parts of the town.

As well as tons of debris, whole trees have had to be removed and others felled along its banks to prevent the danger of some stretches sliding into the water under their weight.

The team is now into it’s fifth week and it will probably take another two week’s work to finish the job.

They will not be clearing the area by the wall adjacent to the Market Street toilet block, where the remains of the collapsed wall still support the footpath. We are working on plans to replace the wall, in conjunction with local authorities, and debris will be removed as part of the construction process.

Area Flood Risk Manager, Anthony Perry, says “This is all part of our work to get things back to normal after what was one of the worst flood events in modern history. Trees and debris swept down by the floodwater cause blockages and increase the risk of future flooding if they are not removed. With winter on its way, we have a team working hard to reduce the risks of flooding in Tenbury should another flood event occur."

The work at Tenbury is part of an ongoing county-wide programme to clear and prepare flood-hit watercourses for the winter

Monday, 1 October 2007

Tenbury Wells Tourist Information Centre

With all the funding that has been made available to the TWTIC, why is the information on their web site so out of date.

Yes we know that the Tenbury Agricultural Show has been cancelled, but is it still relevant several month after the fact.

Much of the site content is out of date, and the "Events in Tenbury Wells" page seems to have become "Whats on @ Whites".

If Tenbury wants to hold its head up as a tourist 'destination', surely it needs to compete at all levels including it's web sites.

Tenbury Wells Town Council

Why have Tenbury Town Council stopped publishing their minutes on their web site.

Do they have something to hide, are they technophobic, is it a lack of funding or are they just badly organised?

If I was more organised I would ring the Town Clerk, but I never seem to remember at the right time, and unfortunately there is no email address.

Update: I finally got around to phoning, and it was a good old fashioned mistake. The Town Council are not very 'web-aware' but have formed a sub-committee to consider this subject.

Tenbury Wells Market Street Toilets

It's funny how a story 'matures' with age.

Worcester County Council now say that the toilets were demolished for 'health & safety' reasons, whilst the Tenbury Advertiser claim they were 'swept' into the brook.

What ever the truth, the site is a mess, and however much optimism some people portray, Tenbury is far from back on its feet, but it is getting there and some of the shops that have been refurbished are better than they were.

Also the Environment Agency are doing sterling work on the upper reaches of Kyre Brook, clearing away years of growth from along the banks. I guess they will also be clearing the bed in due course. My only question is, if the water can flow quicker and freer won't it just flood into town quicker?

Monday, 17 September 2007

Tenbury Wells Market Street

The decision to demolish the Victorian Toilets took only a few days, the demolition only a few hours, but it seems even to start stabilising the site is taking months.

At the moment the brook is just inches deep. Why is nothing happening? At the very least the remaining rubble and other rubbish could be cleared. In a few weeks, the water could be too deep to allow work to be done. If we have heavy rain, then the road could be washed away.

Surely some remedial work can be done now!

Tenbury Biomass Project

The Tenbury Biomass Project seems to have gone very quiet.

The official website still says "The Planning Application will be submitted in May 2007 for a determination over the following few months. Subject to determination, construction will start in late 2007 for completion in 2008."

May is now a distant memory. Perhaps so is the project?

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

£378,000 for MHDC. How much for Tenbury?

ADVANTAGE West Midlands is to provide Malvern Hills District Council with £178,000 to help the clean up effort after flooding in Tenbury and Upton.

MHDC will receive a further £200,000 from £6.2 million made available for 36 local authorities by the Government as part of a flood recovery package.

Perhaps with all this extra money the MHDC can reconsider allowing free parking in Tenbury Car Park whilst the on-street parking spaces are all being used by Builders,Shopfitters and other Flood Restoration companies.Last I heard the Council Spokesman said that Car Parks were a vital source of income for the Council. Well the Tenbury one does 'take' £1500 a month, but in the scope of things, the loss of this income for a few months is hardly likely to make the Council go bust!

Knowing how money grabbing MHDC are, and how they have little or no regard for Tenbury, I wonder how much of this money will reach the intended destination. I hope the Auditors will be watching!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Tenbury Biomass Project - 'duff' incinerator consultants

"Incinerators emit PM2.5 particulates, which usually contain heavy metals. These pass through abatement systems and are totally unregulated and not measured in the UK. "

"These PM2.5s are breathed in and the soluble parts pass through the body causing widespread health damage"

Read the full details about this scary stuff. http://www.ukhr.org/incineration/incinerators.htm

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/cs/forums/1008655/ShowPost.aspx

Tenbury Biomass Project

This power station is only sustainable thanks to the payment of ROCs. In the news today, many of the wind generators have been found to be uneconomical, even with the payment of ROCs. ROCs cannot be guaranteed long term, as they are unsustainable, and have only been designed to enable to government to meet their current commitments. Yes of course we need electricity generation, but this site is ill conceived and has only been chosen because of who owns it, and not its suitability or convenience.

See Shropshire Star. for other views.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tenbury Wells is open for business.

TENBURY WELLS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
TENBURY NEEDS YOU AFTER THE FLOODS OF JULY 2007

The above statement has been added to the Tenbury Town Council Web Site.

Whilst I agree that we should all support our local shops and businesses, we must forget that only 50% of the shops are 'Open for Business'.

If we don't acknowledge this, people with unusual names and silly job titles in that way off Town on the Hill will decree that we don't need assistance, we don't need an extension of free parking and closing down the high street to lay a cable from the Biomass Power Station will not matter.

More Traffic Chaos in the planning.

If you think that the chaos of Market Street reconstruction, the building of replacement toilets, the resurfacing of Teme Street, the repairs to the sewers, the repairs to the storm drains and the laying of the power cable for the Biomass Power Station is the end of traffic problems for Tenbury, think again.

Some of these are necessary and others are not!

Extract from Worcester County Councils bridge report.

A4112 Teme Bridge, Tenbury
Teme Bridge carries the A4112 over the River Teme in Tenbury Wells, linking the town itself to the A456, which provides the strategic route to Worcester and Kidderminster to the East, and Ludlow and Leominster via the A49 to the West. The alternatives routes in Tenbury from this directions involve narrow and hilly roads that are particularly unsuitable for the Heavy Goods Vehicles bringing goods to the town centre businesses.

The original bridge dates back to the Fourteenth Century, although the southern three arches were re-built in the Eighteenth Century. In 1815 the northern three spans were widened to a design by Thomas Telford, and further widening was undertaken in 1868. In 1908 reinforced concrete extensions were constructed on both elevations of the bridge to a design by L.G. Mouchel and Partners.

The structure therefore comprises of six sandstone arches, with spans varying between 7.2 metres and 8.4 metres, with widening having been undertaken using reinforced concrete beam and slab construction. In 1952 the soffit of the concrete extensions were treated with sprayed concrete and most recently in 1995 additional transverse beams were installed to strengthen the southern three spans. This last piece of work followed an assessment that identified the need for a weight restriction if strengthening work was not carried out.

Such a restriction would have a significant impact upon local businesses within Tenbury. A Principal Inspection (PI) in October 2005 identified further problems with the bridge, notably erosion of masonry, cracking and displacements of stonework, water penetration of the reinforced concrete extensions, and spalling of the concrete.

Additionally, the south-east wingwall is showing signs of movement, probably due to settlement of the fill behind the abutment. Given the above it is likely that major repairs will be required to Teme Bridge, and these will form a high priority due to the need to maintain a reasonable level of access to Tenbury itself. Further site investigations are underway to establish the interface between the original arch structure and the concrete extension and to allow a full assessment of the bridge to be completed.

Given the historic nature of this structure, there will be extensive consultation with English Heritage, whilst the timing of any works will need to be the subject of extensive local consultation to minimise the disruption that will inevitably occur locally.

The proposed programme and associated costs for Teme Bridge is as follows:
Year Action Cost
2006/07 Investigation and reassessment of concrete extensions £15,000
2007/08 Detailed mapping of defects to support ancient monument consent £30,000
2007/08 Feasibility and English Heritage liason £15,000
2007/08 Design of strengthening £30,000
2008/09 Masonry repairs (provisional) £450,000
2008/09 Strengthening of concrete extensions (provisional) £600,000
Total £1,140,000

Traffic Lights back in Town


Oh my. Chaos!

Traffic queued back to the High School and it's still the holidays.

How are we going to put up with months of this later in the year.


Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Tenbury Wells Market Street Toilets

As I thought the Council had planned to demolish the toilets even before they had subsided.

Their consulting engineers seem to have taken one look and said that as the back wall was unsupported (and never mind the concrete float foundation) they must come down.


It seem that no other options were considered.

The house in Alveley that had its foundations washed away to a far greater extent and had its wall collapse was saved.

I have to wonder what brief the consulting engineers were working to.

Malvern Hills District Council have wanted rid of the toilets for ages. It seems that the flood was a very convenient excuse and never mind public opinion.

I guess they will now also ignore public opinion about the Biomass Plant, much as they have about the Car Parking charges!

Bird Flu comes to Tenbury?



At last, sun warm enough to go sunbathing.

When will we learn, just because the Hen looks like road-kill, it may just be soaking up the rays.

We used to own a cat who would lay in the road gutter on warm days, looking just as if it had been hit by a car. It would jump up and run off if some poor motorist stopped to check it was OK.

Now we have Hens that prostrate themselves in to most alarming ways, and look like they have been attacked or are really sick. They too jump up and run off as soon as you investigate.

Do I hear the sound of Chicken laughter?

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Tenbury Biomass Project

Is the opposition to the Power Station just NIBYism or do over 2500 local people have a valid point of view.

See some comments on

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/display.var.1610775.0.0.php

and add your own.

Tenbury Wells Car Park - End of free parking.

Sometimes I feel that I am shouting into the void that is cyber space, other times I know I'm not alone.

From http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2007/03/06/katies_blog_feature.shtml

Katie Johnson BBC Hereford & Worcester. Newsy wise, we keep pushing for free parking in Tenbury Wells and Upton on Severn as it officially comes to an end this weekend. Tried Malvern Hills District Council but couldn't get them on the programme, but lets hope they were listening as that many shops still shut or empty they need time to get back on their feet, lets have it free until the New Year please.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2005/09/07/katie_johnson_person_profile.shtml

Jonathan from Tenbury You're quite right about free parking Katie. In Tenbury alone, it's said that in Teme Street, 28 businesses are open, 20 are closed and 4 are vacant. Round the corner in Market Street 6 are open, 13 closed and 2 vacant. As a business myself, we have had the loss adjuster visit and they are being very supportive, but the builder reckons it will take five to six weeks to tear up the floors and walls and rebuild our little shop on Teme Street, so if this applies to all businesses, it will take until late October before things are opening again. So the parking ought to be free until October and then should stay free to encourage a boost for Christmas, so December would be better. Thank you for your support with this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2005/09/07/katie_johnson_person_profile.shtml

Chris from Tenbury Wells Hi Katie. Thanks for taking up the Tenbury parking issue in your Tuesday programme. MHDC's fortnightly approach isn't really working. If MHDC announced free parking until Dec 31, this could be well-publicised, which would encourage people to come to Tenbury, which is what the shops need. On another issue, loads of drains are still blocked in Tenbury.

Tenbury Wells Car Park - End of free parking.

Well done Malvern Hills District Council. (Not)

With less than 50% of the shops in Tenbury open for trade, and many of the on street parking spaces still locked up all day with the necessary contractors vehicles trying to get the shops back trading again, isn't good to see that MHDC have decided that it is more important to raise a few pounds from those people who are supporting their local shops, than to help encourage that trade by continuing to offer free parking.

I guess the next thing they will do is install Temporary Traffic signals and dig up the road for months to try to bankrupt the remaining shops!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Tenbury Wells Market Street Toilets

Malvern District Council do have some funny ideas.

Their web site states:-

Public Conveniences

The following public convenience are the responsibility of Malvern Hills District Council and are cleaned frequently.

Market Street (currently closed due to long term flood damage)– Tenbury Wells.

I think that they are a little more than Closed. Have they already forgotten that they destroyed them.


Thursday, 16 August 2007

Unoccupied Business Park

The Tenbury Biomass Plant Project continues to throw up anomalies.

In a recent briefing document the Project Managers claim (correctly) that the Business Park "has been undeveloped for the last 17 years"

They also state that "Having a fully occupied business park is also seen as a key factor in encouraging economic regeneration"

The strange thing is, I keep hearing about Businesses that have either been turned away, or had unacceptable terms imposed upon them as if to keep them away from the business park.

When I asked about renting a unit there a few years ago, I was told that I would have to fund all the development myself to their specification and then pay rent for the ground the building occupied. As I was a start up company who wanted a small storage unit to rent, this rather put me off!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Town Council - Planning Committee

From the minutes of the PLANNING COMMITTEE held on Monday 30th July 2007 at 7.00 pm in the Council Chamber, Teme Street, Tenbury Wells.

Cllr Jenner reported that she had spoken to a Planning officer from MHDC who had advised her that our recommendations should always comply with the information contained in the Local Plan and the reasons for refusal or approval should be more detailed. Cllr Jenner then gave some examples of previous applications and how they should have perhaps been worded. All Councillors were given a copy of a guidance leaflet published by MHDC.

Interesting timing in view of the imminent arrival of one of the most controversial planning applications for years.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Teme Street Resurfacing

At the Town Council Meeting held on 2nd July 2007, MHDC Cllr Penn reported:-

"Teme Street would be resurfaced in a few weeks time but it would take place a (sic) night time to ease traffic problems."

We now hear that the resurfacing has been delayed and will be done during the day, so that a pipe can also be laid to carry the 11KV cable for the Biomass Power Station.

I wonder if the resurfacing costs are now being 'subsidised' by the Biomass Power Station Project and that is why the question of 'easing' traffic congestion has been conveniently dropped.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Tenbury Biomass Project Update

Back in March I wrote a tongue in cheek briefing note about the proposed Power Station scheme, before the project was launched and before much information was available.

http://tenburywells.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

Now more facts are known I thought I would revisit my first thoughts.

"Having turned down the plans for the Market Square Veterinary surgery to move to the business park as it was the wrong sort of business,"

It now transpires that a number of businesses that have wanted to move to or buy plots on the business park over the years have been turned down, however the Project Developers say that the Business Park has lain mostly unused for many years.

"do the officers really think that a 40 ft tall power station with a 60 ft chimney is right for an edge of town location."

Well, yes they do. The heights are now shorter than originally indicated.

"So will this monster be viable?"

Yes, so long as the government supports ROCs.

"Will Tenbury become clogged with ever more large lorries?"

Yes, but not with Biomass lorries, they are to route through Bromyard or Kimbolton & Leysters.

"Once upon a time, electricity from biomass (wood burning) power stations was considered so inefficient that unless the heat could be usefully used they were a non-runner."

They still are, but by adding on a wood pellet drying plant and using the 'potential' to sell heat the project can be cost justified.

"Now, because of ‘Corporate Responsibility’ large multinationals such as Tesco, want to buy green but the traditional power generators cannot produce enough ‘green’ energy and are paying over the odds to inefficient power generators with the issue of ‘traded instruments’. The question is what happens when the market matures. This has already happened with Packaging Recovery Notes (another traded instrument) where the cost of issuing the note is now greater than its value. Companies using recycled materials to produce their products whose business model relied on this addition payment are going bust. If this happens in the power generation industry then Tenbury could have a very large White Elephant."

The government has comitted to support ROCs, so that's all right then!

"If the information released so far is correct, the design is already inefficient. If the power station cannot burn a mix of biomass and relies on wood pellets, it is questionable how much of the ‘energy’ produced will be needed to transport and pre-process the wood into pellets."

It seems the Power Station will run on wood chip and the unit next door with produce wood pellets for use elsewhere.

If the technology is now really so good that the Power Station will not be pumping out noxious fumes all over Tenbury and the Teme Valley, why not go to the next stage and build an incinerator that can also burn waste. Tenbury’s waste currently undertakes a long journey, to a processing centre 45 miles away, with many of the recyclable items going on to China. Surely any ‘new’ power station should be able to burn a mix of products from Bio Diesel, to methane from anabolic digesters, to household and trade waste, to biomass from miscanthus, to logs, to shredded pallets., to short crop rotation willow. Is the real reason that the council will jump at any offer, however poorly conceived just their usual unseemly haste at selling all the council owned assets and getting the money out of Tenbury.

The Technology isn't that good, so the plant will only be able to burn clean wood. The waste wood burning plant will probably be in Burford.

The text of the original Tenbury Biomass Project Document is available at
http://tenburywells.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Tenbury Biomass Project - Cable

If, as I suspect, there are no 'legal' grounds to oppose the Tenbury Biomass Power Project http://www.tenburybiomass.co.uk/index.html, I wonder if the cable could be run down Kyre Brook instead of Bromyard Road, Cross Street, Market Street & Teme Street.

If the brook could be cleared and dredged at the same time at least some good would come out of the construction.


Biomass Power Station DemonstrationBiomass Power Station Demonstration

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/display.var.1610775.0.protestors_concern_over_power_plant.php

http://www.shropshirestar.co.uk/2007/08/2008-date-for-biomass-plants

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Council Press Briefing

http://www.shropshirestar.co.uk/2007/08/change-of-talks-venue/

Why is the meeting for Press Only?

Who pays the wages for the Council staff, and to who should they be accountable.

If the press are to only hear one side of the story how can any reporting be balanced.

In a democracy political power should belong to the people. Administrative offices such as Councils are created merely for execution of legal rules.

Left uncontrolled, the bureaucracy will become increasingly self-serving and corrupt, rather than serving society.

The make up of this project is already highly suspect, with the Land being jointly owned by the Project Sponsor, the Project Promoter, and the Planning Authority.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

"only a blow in"

I have been asked, why am I so staunch in my support for Tenbury, after all, I am only a blow in.

The simple answer is that I live here through choice, not by accident of birth.

Tenbury may or may not be unique, but it is certainly different from the other places that I have lived and worked.

I like Tenbury because:


  1. The natives are (mostly) friendly.
  2. I can walk (easily) to the Bank, Post Office, Cinema, Dentist, Doctor, Swimming Pool, Primary School, Secondary School, a great range of shops, (the list could go on....)
  3. I can walk down the high street in overalls & boots and I don't look out of place.
  4. I have Owls, Buzzards and other wildlife in my garden, yet I live in the town centre.
  5. My daughter knows nearly everyone in her school, yet the school is of a reasonable size.
  6. I know most of the local councillors, I may not always agreed with them, but I know who they are and not just their names.
  7. Most of the shops are independents, yet their prices are (mostly) competitive.
  8. We have proper, oily rag garages that understand vehicles and are not just component changers.
  9. Our local press is just that, local.
  10. We have a great Postal Service.
  11. The weekly market maybe small but is well balanced.

The main key to this is the town centre and its traders. We must support them, and they must be allowed to survive and thrive.

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Just been listening to Katie Johnson on BBC Hereford & Worcester who was in a combative mood, jousting with the Deputy Leader of MHDC. It's great to have at least one section of the media, reflecting local opinion.

BBC Hereford & Worcester's FM signal is almost non-existant in Tenbury, but Katie emailed me to say we have a special AM signal 1584 (same as the phone prefix).

Monday, 6 August 2007

Never Give Up

WCC assure me that the traffic lights will be withdrawn very soon. They will need to go up again once work starts, but until then, traffic will be allowed to flow through Tenbury in it's usual 'hit & miss' way. (Unless the road subsides!)

Misplaced Optimism

Another day, another jam. I know it's not as bad as the traffic jams in London. That's why I no longer live there.

It's bad enough that we have to suffer the lights, but the fact that they are still not working correctly is unbelievable.

This morning I waited in a queue nearly 1/2 mile long, whilst the traffic lights still gave an equal green phases to empty roads coming the other way.

Meanwhile, the few shop keepers that are trading say that their turnover has plummeted as people are either avoiding Tenbury, or are unable to stop.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Not without hope

This morning I sat gently fuming, sitting at the now familiar red light in Market Street, contemplating what I would like to do to the person who set the phasing on the lights. No other cars passed me as I waited for the green phase in Teme Street and the one on Kryewood Road. The sensors are very obviously not working.

As I turned the corner there was a contractors truck, with a very natty hand written sign saying "on emergency call" Horaah they had come to sort out (or even perhaps to remove) the traffic lights.

Many hours later I returned to Tenbury with a renewed sence of optimismn. As I approached the Kyrewood Road lights they were green. (even though no other cars were in front of me, and cars were waiting in Teme Street) Just as I reached the lights they turned red. Could the sensors be working in reverse? I think my paranoia is showing.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Not a sheep

"I am not a sheep, I have my own mind. I am fed up with being told what and how to think?Whilst we are still allowed the remnants of free speech, I will speak out."

I spotted the above on another blog, but I couldn't agree more.

Our thoughts go out this morning to all livestock farmers. Hopefully lessons have been learnt and a major catastrophe can be avoided. On top of the recent crop losses, farming and the country cannot aford to get this wrong.

Friday, 3 August 2007

A taste of the future in Tenbury Wells

With the marked increase in the levels of pollution and chaos in Market and Teme Street, are we seeing into the future.

If the proposed plans for the Biomass Power Station at Bromyard Road Business Park goes ahead then we can probably look forward to both.

Perhaps not if, but when.

With the project being sponsored and underwriten by Worcester County Council, with an estimated £1M grant from the EU via AWM, the land jointly owned by Malvern Hills District Council, who are also the planning authority, Worcester County Council, the sponsor and AWM, the grant holder and the Government backing "Green Power" what chance public opinion.

We might as well agree for the developers to give all the shop keepers six months paid holiday, the householders one years Council Tax rebate and run a shuttle bus service to Bromyard, Leominster and Ludlow whilst the work is done. Dream on.

Alternatively, they will probably agree not to proceed, then early one morning after a power cut move contractors in and start anyway, saying only one person objected, but they didn't understand the history. Whilst all the parking in the town centre is suspended and the shop keepers already weakened by the floods close down one by one.

http://tenburybiomass.co.uk/index.html

If the timetable on the official website is to be believed then the road works associated with running the cables to Burford should start even before the current "road-works" in Market Street are finished.

There could also be the nightmare situation of having suffered all the inconveniences, the plant built, the council tax papers money spent, the farmers crops planted and the Power Station sitting unused. http://eeru.open.ac.uk/natta/renewonline/rol41/7.htm

Market Street - Tenbury Wells

The wonderful people at Malvern Hub help desk tell me that our multi-layered leaders (my words not theirs) are "working very hard to solve the problem".

In their obscene haste to demolish the toilets, the powers that be, have weakened the embankment and the road so putting at risk the underground pipes and cables that run under it.

Worcester County Council (the road) cannot act until Malvern District Council (the wall) cannot act until Central Networks (the cable) cannot act until Severn Trent (the water pipe) cannot act until National Grid Gas? (the gas pipe) cannot act until...........

Looks like we will be decorating the traffic lights for Christmas.

It would help if anyone knew who the land known locally as "Snail Park" belonged to. MHDC will be very reluctant to spend money cleaning it up, even if they did make the mess demolishing the toilets.

Temporary Traffic Lights - Market Street

Well it's only lunchtime and I've already spent an hour today waiting in line at the temporary traffic lights in Teme/Market Street.

As the traffic lights are run by Worcester County Council, I thought I would give them a call.

It transpires that all traffic lights, must by law be fitted with a sensor to monitor if traffic is approaching/or waiting.

This surprised me as I had seen a green light at the Kyre Bridge crossing stay alight for an entire phases with no cars waiting (or approaching).

A little further investigating and I found that it may be law for the lights to have these sensors fitted, but there is no law that they have to be used. How very British!

It seems that the lights can simply be set on timer and left!

Hopefully my carefully chosen words have galvanised the official into action and at this very moment he is hot footing it to Tenbury to set the lights properly.




Will the jams dissolve if the lights are set correctly?

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Mixing with the wrong people

Do you ever get the feeling that you must be mixing with the wrong people.

Mr Mayor in his response to my article about the demise of the Victorian Toilets said

"There was no public protest at the scene, just one gentleman who would not listen to the history of how we reached a decision."

Well I have now met, I think it is six people who think that they were that "one gentleman" whereas I had thought that it was me.

I also continue to meet people who are not convinced about the course of action taken.

It just goes to show if you take a straw pole amongst the people you mix with you get the answer you expect.


Tenbury Mayor Bob Martin, mixing with Environment Secretary Hilary Benn and local MP Bill Wiggin. Picture Credit : Tenbury Advertiser

Air Pollution in Tenbury Wells

Many residents of Tenbury Wells are currently fighting a proposed Biomass Power Station which our illustrious leaders think would be a suitable addition for our small business park.

http://archive.worcesternews.co.uk/2007/3/29/457440.html

One of the points of protest is what the emissions from this plant will do to local air quality.

So, now we have a poorly functioning set of temporary traffic lights in town, that are causing long queues of traffic, the air quality has plummeted. So if the Council take a measurement now, they can say our air quality is already so bad, what difference will a Power Station make.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Tenbury Wells - A rising sea of suits

Tenbury Wells, (a small market town situated on the north west tip of Worcestershire recently known for its rising flood waters) became a sea of suits this morning.

Usually dressing up in Tenbury involves putting on clean overalls and boots, but today many besuited gentlemen were in evidence up and down the towns main streets. There was also an influx of yellow waist coated representatives from the Council and the Environment Agency.

The reason for this mass donning of weaved cloth was a visit by Government Minister, Hilary Benn who was recently appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page4621.asp and local MP Bill Wiggin , http://www.billwiggin.com/

I have to admit that with the recent events locally I still thought he was Secretary of State for International Development, and whilst realising that Tenbury is a European development area due to the very low per capita income, I was still rather surprised by his visit.

I guess rather like the Queen who probably thinks the world smells of new paint, government ministers must think that even everyday country folk, must wear suits on a daily basis just like them Londoners do.