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Although Temeside House itself was unaffected by the recent floods, a number of substantial offers were withdrawn by prospective purchasers.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

15 Market Street
01584 810281

Funeral Directors

Yes Yes

15 Market Street

01584 810561

Builders Merchant

Yes Yes
Femina Hair Styles
9, Market St,
01584 810107
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


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