Monday, 27 July 2009

Tenbury Show Special

The latest edition of the Teme Valley Times is now available from your local stockist. (Tenbury News, Library, Spar etc)

All the local news and information about the Tenbury Agricultural Show.

Online version at

Saturday, 25 July 2009

New Civic Garden Open

The new Civic Garden at Tenbury Wells was opened today by Tenbury Mayor, Richard Jones and the Chair of Malvern Hills District Council, Reg Farmer.

The garden was created using money from an AWM Better Welcome Grant and additional money from Malvern Hills District Council.

Tenbury Advertiser

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Tenbury dresses for Gold

A number of shops were dressed today with specially commissioned bunting designed and made by Pupils at Tenbury High School. The blue and white theme was chosen by Tenbury in Bloom to commentate the 100th anniversary of Guiding in the UK. Book bunting for Books Books Books and Candy for the Little Sweet Shop.

Mean while the Tenbury in Bloom group held a coffee morning in the pavilion whilst the judges toured Tenbury.
Planters and hanging baskets have been installed all around Town by the Tenbury in Bloom group and various borders, such as those outside the swimming pool in the Palmers Car Park have been renovated and replanted.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Biomass Blight Lifted?

Harriett Baldwin, the Conservative prosective parliamentry candidate for West Worcestershire has issued a press release tonight welcoming the news that state subsidy of Tenbury biomass project at the business park has been dropped.

It appears that one of the main sponsors of the project, Advantage West Midlands, have reveiwed all their funding commitments and have said that they will no longer support the project.

Advantage West Midlands have said
"Advantage West Midlands has completed a detailed update of its Corporate Plan for the Government and confirmed £1.1 billion worth of funding for projects that will balance support for businesses and communities during the recession with longer term plans to ensure the region is prepared for the economic upturn"
Although there is no detail on their website about which projects have been dropped, this is likely to be in the full text of their updated Corporate Plan which is not yet available online.

Hopefully this news when confirmed will allow Worcester County Council to go ahead with their delayed plan to resurface Teme Street. I would also hope that Malvern Hills District Council can now find a suitable partner to develop the Tenbury Business Park, now that the blight of the threatened Biomass Plant has been lifted.

Full text of Harriett Baldwin's Press Release

Harriett Baldwin welcomes news that state subsidy of Tenbury biomass project at the business park has been dropped

Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire today welcomed news that Advantage West Midlands has withdrawn funding from the plan to build a biomass project at Tenbury Business Park.

Advantage West Midlands had previously indicated that they would subsidise a biomass application from CJDay Associates with a subsidy of £965,000

Harriett Baldwin said, “I am delighted to learn that the current economic climate has led to a review of this project by the government's regional development agency. I have always maintained that the Tenbury Business Park was the wrong site for this facility.

I am supportive of small scale biomass projects like the 700 kilowatt wood fuel burner at Worcestershire County Hall, but I have always argued that the Tenbury business park location was ill-advised, as it is far from the grid and requires additional lorry movements through Tenbury.

Finally, Advantage West Midlands should give a higher priority to flood defences for Tenbury, as the economic heart of this wonderful market town lies on the flood plain.”

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tourists visit Pump Rooms

The Pump Rooms - Tenbury's Main Attraction
At the last few meetings of the Town Council, the Mayor has commented on the number of tourists that appear in town nearly every day and ask if they can look inside the Pump Rooms. He has also been receiving letters from several coach parties each month with the same request. Although the Town Clerk is now located at the Pump Rooms, it is not always convenient for her to open the Main Hall and Pump Tower.

This Tourist interest should not come as a surprise. Not so long ago (OK four years) Tenbury Town Council was lobbying Malvern Hills District Council (the then owners of the building) to open up the Pump Rooms on a regular basis for Tourists. (Newspaper article from 2005)

Five years ago Lee Robson, the then District's Head of Community and Economic Development said: "We want to create as many tourist attractions as possible in our area and the Pump Rooms is a main attraction in the north of the district. We are keen to work with anyone who can help us establish regular openings. (Newspaper article from 2004)

It has been estimated that with some publicity and sympathetic opening hours 10,000 people a year could come through the doors. Whilst it would be difficult to charge an entrance fee, there would be the opportunity to recoup some of the costs with associated sales.

The original restoration was funded on the condition that the building was open as a Tourist attraction with a Tourist Information Point.

A promotion/publicity campaign, with a proper leaflet, and
professionally staffed openings and tours/talks, would cost about £2,500 a year, possibly less if some volunteer labour was utilised.

Whilst any expenditure would put a strain on the Town Council's budget, grants of £20,000+ were found for an Arts Trail in Tenbury,


Art Sculpture part of the £20,000 Art Trail

and £30,000 for a Civic garden, neither of which are a major attraction, but do contribute to the Tourist offer.

Civic Garden

£30,000 Civic Garden Under Construction

Even in these difficult financial times there is money to be made from tourism, and what Tenbury seems to lack is a co-ordinated approach to making the best use of its architectural heritage.

Tenbury is a fantastic town, with varied and interesting architecture, and with nearly 100% independant shops, is a virtually unique tourist attraction. There are problems, as with any town, and in places the public domain is in need of regeneration, but on the whole, it should be a mecca for Tourists to while away an hour or three.

Festivals and special events are great at bringing people to Tenbury, but everyday facilities are always going to be far better at helping long term economic prosperity.

The Town Council has received offers to help staff the opening, and the Lottery grant will help to smarten up and open up the Regal, another of Tenbury's unique architectural gems.

The Regal, Entertainments and Pump Rooms Committee of the Town Council will be discussing this matter on Monday July 13th. (7pm in the Pump Rooms)

No Wheelie Bins for Tenbury

Tenbury Wells will not be getting Wheelie Bins for the foreseeable future.

Malvern Hills Council have recently undertaken a consultation exercise regarding waste collection and 87% of respondents want to maintain the status quo.

Recycling rates need to be improved, and it is hoped that by next April and once the new MRF at junction 7 starts operation, all recyclables can be put into a single sack and collected each week.

Rather than relying on prosecuting households that don't recycle, MHDC will target education at households that put out multiple black sacks on a regular basis.

Sorry saga of Market Street toilets continued.

Toilet site (click) the story so far.

The reconstruction of the 'unlucky' Market Street toilets has run into more problems.

It seems that a mistake by Quantity Surveyors early on in the project, meant that when the commercial tenders to construct the replacement toilets were opened, they were all at least 100% over budget. It seems that the original estimate obtained by MHDC was incorrect, and the project was too ambitious for the funds available.

Rather than reduce the quality of the build in this prominant position, it has now been decided to upgrade the Gents and Ladies toilets to accomodate additional equipment and do away with the Disabled toilet.

Quite how this decision will be met by Disabled campaigners remains to be seen. The following from a recent Mencap campaign.
Across the country, over 230,000 people need Changing Places toilets - with a changing bench, hoist, and space for a wheelchair and two carers. Without them, carers are often forced to change their family members on dirty toilet floors. This is unhygienic, degrading and undignified.

It would seem to ask Disabled visitors to share facilities with the general public is a step in the wrong direction as Public toilets are nearly always in a less clean state than Disabled toilets.