Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tenbury Launches a Town Guide App

A new Smartphone application has been launched which gives instant access to everything you need to know about Tenbury Wells.  The app can be installed from both the itunes store for iPhones and from the Android Marketplace for all Android phones.
The app gives instant access to all local businesses and where available their websites.  It also allows easy access to lots of other useful information.

Early next year, it will also start to detail special offers from local shops.

The app has been developed on behalf of Tenbury Town Council and funded under the TWO4B project.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Pirouetting Truck Avoids the Teme

A Kingsmill delivery truck on route to the Spar supermarket narrowly missed a dip in the Teme at Tenbury Wells this morning.
Whilst turning in the old cattle market site, the lorry skidded on ice and slid through the boundary fence and partly demolished a wall.
The truck stopped short of the railings,  Luckily no one was hurt.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Town Council to create more parking.

Tenbury Town Council have agreed in principle for the existing Civic Amenity site to be relocated to the Bromyard Road Business Park.
The Town Civic Amenity Site (Town Dump)

The site is currently situated on land owned by the Town Council and leased to Worcester County Council who in turn let it to Severn Waste who run the facility.

The Town Council (or rather the Council Tax payers) have to pay full business rates on the site, estimated at more than £300, but only receive £1 a year in rent from Worcester County Council.

The site which attract scores of complaints each year, mainly due to the difficult access and steep stairs, was due to be replaced years ago. When Severn Trent took over Worcestershire's waste contract they had to put aside a considerable sum of money to find a new site and create a modern facility.

Although lip service has been given to this over the years, no real attempt has been made to move the project forward.

Hopefully this will now happen in 2012, and a modern facility can be created, which will allow easier and safer access and allow for much more recycling.  Most of the materials "dumped" in the skip at the moment such as wood, metal, bricks, concrete etc go to landfill whereas they could be recycled.

Once the facility has been moved, the resulting space can be turned back into parking spaces.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

As another Christmas draws nearer....

The annual Tenbury Wells Lantern & Santa Parade marked the end of the 2011 Mistletoe Season.
All the usual characters were in attendance,
although surprisingly the lantern section seemed somewhat depleted despite the run-away success of this years lantern workshop.

There was also a dance exhibit in the window of 12 Teme Street, but this proved very difficult to see.  Perhaps they had overdone the atmospheric lighting, but with condensation and reflections on the windows the dancers were all but invisible to my old eyes.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Free parking in Tenbury over Christmas period

Following recent pressures affecting the national economy and reports from local businesses about a slow down in trade, Malvern Hills District Council will be providing free car parking concessions in the week before Christmas.

From the 19th to the 24th December, pay and display charges will be waived in its car parks

Councillor Paul Cumming, Portfolio Holder for Finance & Resources at MHDC said:

“This council considers the support of local business and the local economy to be a priority and we are keen to assist local traders who have reported generally sluggish sales. We want to help give trade a boost and encourage more people to shop in our towns in the week leading up to Christmas. “

Monday, 5 December 2011

Tenbury Town Council Inflation Busting Increase

Tenbury Town Council are proposing increasing their precept request by just over 13.5%.

Amongst other things funds required are to pay for additional repairs to the Community Centre which aren't 
covered by the HLF Grant.  Also a budget has been created to help fund the Town's Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.  The amount being set aside for future repairs to the Car Park has also been increased and unless it is agreed that charges are introduced this is likely to have to increase again.

There are still some 
anomalies in the way they subsidise certain facilities to a much higher degree than others, but the Council has pledged to have detailed negotiations during the coming year to try to overcome these.

The other uncertainty at this stage is the overall financial effect of transferring the running of the Regal to a Management Trust.  This should show major savings in future years, but probably not in the first year.

As the other elements of the Council Tax have been frozen by central government, the TTC increase won't have a major impact in the overall Council Tax charge.  The increase for a band A property will be about the cost of one small chocolate bar a month.

The full Council will be voting on the increase next Monday.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Wow What a (National) Mistletoe Day

Today started gently enough with a small gathering of Druids in a local orchard.  Male & Female Mistletoe was harvested during a gentle ceremony that thanked the tree for producing apples and for hosting the Mistletoe.  During the ceremony, the Apple tree was anointed with Cider as a thank you gift.
The Male & Female Mistletoe are harvested separately and caught before hitting the ground.  They are then kept separately for the ceremony later in the day.

The next part of the day started with a BANG!  Drummers appeared on both sides of Teme Bridge and started to play loud rhythmic music. 
They were joined by the Mistletoe Foundation Parade as it brought the Harvested Mistletoe across the Teme into Tenbury.  All of a sudden, the Town centre which had only a few minutes ago appeared deserted, was packed with people watching the parade.
So much so that the Parade had to complete the last section on the road as the pavements were packed.  As the Parade crossed the road, it was met by the Head Girl & Boy from Tenbury High School with their attendants on the "Steps of Learning"

2011 Tenbury High School Head Girls , Anna Gunter (left) 
and Deputy Head Girl & attendant Jessica Sanders and
Head Boy, Callum Redding (right) and 
Jordan Powell (standing in for Deputy Head Boy Scott Dallow )
The Parade, and everyone else then made their way to the Burgage for the next part of the ceremony.

During the ceremony, the Mistletoe is blessed and the Mistletoe Queen is crowned.  The Male & Female Mistletoe are then brought together.
Apple Juice & Beer are poured over the Mistletoe so that all harvests of the Teme Valley are honoured.  Good intentions are put into the blessing and then the Mistletoe is given to the River Teme as a thank you to the land for its abundance and hoping for a good year, next year.
By now the sun was setting so a few of the two to three hundred people that had watched and joined in the ceremony retreated to the Pump Rooms for a warm drink and a chat.
They were joined by local MP Harriett Baldwin to present the prizes for the Mistletoe themed shop window dressing competition.
The first prize was awarded to Marilyn of Marilyn's Ladies Fashions. The second to Beauty Laine and joint third to Country Flowers and the Salon.
Then the entertained changed pace again with Damh the Bard, playing to a sell out crowd at the Royal Oak.

More photo's from the day.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

John Challis - Being Boycee in Tenbury

Local actor John Challis was signing copies of his autobiography "Being Boycie" at Books Books Books today.  If you missed it, there are a few additional signed copies for sale.

John is best known for his portrayal of Boycie the the dodgy car dealer from Only Fools And Horses and the spin off series, The Green Green Grass.

The book charts his early years as the son of a cautious and pedantic man from the Admiralty and a rather more flamboyant mother.

His early career included a spell working at an Estate Agent and as a Deliver Van Driver, before moving into acting with a touring "rep" company. In the 60's he played in many of the hit TV series such as Z Cars & Coronation Street, but it wasn't until after nearly 25 years in the business that he became an "overnight success" in Only Fools & Horses.

Tenbury Mistletoe Auction Attracts Brisk Trade

A full auction site of Mistletoe, Holly, Wreaths & Trees attracted a large crowd of buyers from across England, Scotland, Wales and beyond for the first of the seasons sales.
Tenbury High School Pupils from the
Mistletoe Messenger Group discuss their
publication with Green Santa.

In addition to the ranks of press and photographers from the local & national press, pupils from Tenbury High School were selling copies of the Mistletoe Messenger and Destination Worcester's Green Santa was also in attendance.

More photo's
Even more photo's
More again

Friday, 25 November 2011

For one night only!

"World renowned for his dynamic and challenging performances, allow Ben Haggarty to lure you into the richly metaphorical world of a full-blooded fairytale for grown-ups. 

Dark, beautiful and startling by turn, this is a story of dreams, initiations and the repayment of debts - a journey from innocence to experience which delves into a disconcertingly familiar narrative world. Ben Haggarty performs with infectious charm and ease - fierce, fast paced, and unashamedly magical."

Ben Haggarty is performing in Tenbury for one night only on Saturday 26th November only part of the Mistletoe Season.  Tickets available from the TIC, Books, Books, Books, Special Occasions and

This performance is suitable for children over 12 and adults.

There is also a Sunday afternoon performance for children over 8 and their families.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sticky but Fun

Todays lantern workshop was a fun filled success with children of all ages (about 60 throughout the day) trying their hands at creating new lanterns for this years Tenbury Wells Santa & Lantern Parade, or helping to re-skin old lanterns.

The Pump Rooms, which had been specially adapted with plastic sheeting on the floor, was awash with willow withys, cling film, tissue paper and pva glue.

More photo's

Mistletoe Messenger is Launched

Mistletoe Messenger, the event programme for the 2011 Mistletoe Season containing, Mistletoe Mischief, Miscellany and lots of information about Mistletoe is now on sale at shops throughout Tenbury.
This comprehensive and well produced booklet (40 odd pages) was produced by a team of children from Tenbury High School (with a little outside help).  Proceeds from the sale (50p each) goes to The Starlight Children's Foundation and Help for Heroes.

Available from: The Tourist Information Centre, Books, Books, Books, The Little Sweet Shop, Special Occasions, The Barn Shop, Country Flowers, Clockhouse, Bowketts, Soap Opera, Nice Things & Tenbury News.

Worcester Evening News

Large Crowds Watch Lights Switch On

Hundreds of people lined Teme Street in Tenbury Wells late yesterday afternoon for the annual switching on of the Christmas Lights. Part of the street had been turned into an outside disco complete with Lasers and other lighting effects. (which made photography almost impossible - Thanks Sunshine!)
Sunshine Radio hosted the event from the top of their open top double decker bus.  There was a surprise visit from Father Christmas, and a walk about by Ray the Sunshine Cat.  
The lights were switched on by Tenbury Mayor, Liz Weston.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Bridge will be closed for 10 weeks or less!

Worcester County Council announced tonight that they have appointed Birmingham based Volker Fitzpatrick and their Worcester based sister company Laser as main contractors for the repair of Tenbury's Teme Bridge.

The bridge is still scheduled to close on 9th January but the plan is for the work that involves the road closure to be completed by 16th March.  This period also includes some contingency time so that there is a possibility that it could open even sooner.

A temporary car park will be established for 50 cars on the North side of the bridge and the old cattle market will be repaired and marked out for parking on the south side.  The charge in the MHDC Teme Street car park will be reduced to 10p for up to 2 hours.

Landrover are sponsoring an additional 4x4 vehicle so that Police will have additional cover and all the Police Officers radios now contain trackers so that the control room can task the nearest officer to any incident.  Police numbers will also be maintained at normal operation levels for the duration and any absences will be back-filled by officers from other areas.

Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Services will maintain two appliances at the Burford Station and an additional appliance will be based at the Bromyard Road Business Park.  Additional appliances will be tasked from Bromyard & Leominster automatically for all calls rather than the current system of calling them in if required.

Ambulance cover will remain the same with vehicles being tasked from Leominster, Bromyard, Ludlow & Kidderminster.  The destination hospital may vary depending on where the patient lives.

A temporary shuttle bus will run from Bromyard Road Business Park to Lloyds Bank and back.  There is an ongoing discussion about providing a bus from the North end of the bridge to the hospital, but this hasn't been finalised.

The main signed diversion routes will be via main roads.  The smaller "local" diversion routes will have a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes (except for access).  All these routes will be treated (gritted) should the need arise.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tenbury's Fallen Servicemen Remembered.

As far a military towns go, Tenbury Wells is probably not one that springs readily to mind, but ever since the Napoleonic wars local families have had to count the cost in human terms of the loved ones who didn't return from military conflicts all over the world.

In his 500 page book, Roy Winton, the Treasurer of the Tenbury British Legion explores the story of courage, sorrow and loss behind each of the 200 men who gave their lives to Sovereign and Country.

The earliest story in the book is that of Edgar Knott who lost his life in the Boer War and the most recent is that of Stephen Hicks, an airman who lost his life in the first Gulf War in 1991.

The book, For Sovereign and Country is available at Books Books Books and the Tenbury Tourist Information office and would perhaps make an ideal Christmas present.

Monday, 14 November 2011

"Coming to a screen near you"

One of the top Christmas themed films is being screened by Flicks in the Sticks at Tenbury High School on Friday evening as part of the Tenbury Mistletoe Season.

Tickets can be bought online from at the Tenbury TIC or on the door.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tenbury Memorial Parade 2011

I don't know if it's my imagination but the Tenbury Wells & District Memorial parade seems to be getting bigger each year.  Once again bright sunshine and this year warm temperatures welcomed the representatives from the many local forces & uniformed organisations as well as representatives from the three levels of local councils.  There was even a representative from Royal Mail & (if I heard correctly) The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

Additional Photographs.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Being Boycie at Books Books Books.

Local actor John Challis will be signing copies of his autobiography "Being Boycie" at Books Books Books from 12 noon on Tuesday 29th November.

John is best known for his portrayal of Boycie the the dodgy car dealer from Only Fools And Horses and the spin off series, The Green Green Grass.

The book charts his early years as the son of a cautious and pedantic man from the Admiralty and a rather more flamboyant mother.

His early career included a spell working at an Estate Agent and as a Deliver Van Driver, before moving into acting with a touring "rep" company. In the 60's he played in many of the hit TV series such as Z Cars & Coronation Street, but it wasn't until after nearly 25 years in the business that he became an "overnight success" in Only Fools & Horses.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Tenbury Remembers

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Members of the numerous town organisations and a sizeable crowd joined the Royal British Legion and other Tenbury Services organisations in a short ceremonial event to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
Euton Peters the young trumpeter from the Teme Valley Band is congratulated and thanked for his excellent playing of the Last Post, and Reveille during the event.

Come along and Have your Say!

Burford and Tenbury Wells Communities
Joint Toolkit Evening Event
Tuesday 22nd November 2011 – 9.45 pm
Tenbury Wells Primary School

There will shortly be an opportunity to tell the Tenbury Area Partnership your thoughts on what it is like to live or work in the communities that together make up the Burford and Tenbury Wells area and to give your views about what would help your community to develop now and in the future.

30 to 40 people are invited to sign up for a ‘community toolkit’ group discussion event. This will be organised by Shropshire Council with Worcestershire and Malvern Hills Councils. 

The event will help the Tenbury Area Partnership (which includes the Councils as well as voluntary groups, schools and the Chamber of Trade) to gather up-to-date information about the area, which will help in guiding ongoing and future work in the local communities. 

The event is the first joint one of its kind and is building on consultation carried out by the Tenbury Area Partnership conducted throughout 2011. 

Representatives of all age groups are welcome and ideally from across the whole area, ranging from 11 years old through to parents with children and retired people are being sought and the organisers are especially keen to hear from people who may not have been involved in anything before, as well as from those already active in their community. Teas and coffees will be available from 6.30pm and there will be a midpoint break for light refreshments including cakes.

If you would like to take part, please get in touch by noon on Thursday 17th November 2011 with Mrs Lois Dale at Shropshire Council (01743 255667)


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tenbury Teme Bridge - Update

Residents and traders are being offered the opportunity to find out more about the plans for essential works on Tenbury's Teme Bridge due to start in the new year. 

A second "Public Briefing is taking place on 17 November at Tenbury High School, in Oldwood Road. The event starts at 7.30pm.

Click here for full article.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Tenbury Regal to get new management

Tenbury Town Council have backed the proposal for the newly renovated Regal Cinema to be run and managed by a Management Trust.

One Cllr described the Regal as an "important Multi Media centre of activity" and thought the proposal was an excellent idea.  Another Cllr said that this "needs to be run as a commercial enterprise and councils (all councils) are not good at running commercial enterprises."

Tesco decision delayed again

Cllr Phillip Grove the Leader of MHDC has confirmed that no decision on the Tesco application to develop the Tenbury Cattle Market site will be made this year. He also couldn't confirm that the planning permission would be ready for the January 2012 planning meeting either.

Tenbury's New Deputy Mayor

Following the resignation of Cllr Mound, Cllr Sue Corfield has been appointed as Deputy Mayor.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tesco decision delayed.

From the MHDC website

Tenbury Tesco application meeting

Planners at Malvern Hills District Council have requested additional information from Tesco for their proposed food retail store on the Cattle Market Site in Tenbury Wells. 
The application will therefore not be reported to the November meeting of the Northern Area Development Control Committee on the 2nd November. The next available meeting to consider the application will be Wednesday 7th December 2011.
Amended details are expected to be submitted and once received, people who have expressed an interest in the application will be given the opportunity to comment on the revised details.
Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of MHDC said:
 “Some extra work needs to be done on the application before it can be considered by Committee. If the application is ready for the December date, the meeting will be, as previously promised, held in Tenbury.  I am conscious of just how important this issue is for the town and that opinion is divided.  “

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The people have spoken.....

It seems that majority of Traders, Towns people and now Town Councillors agree that allowing Tesco to develop a store on the Old Cattle Market, would on balance be beneficial for Tenbury.

Tenbury Town Council have voted 6 to 4 in favour of supporting the application. The previous vote of 5 to 4 against was overturned. The Shropshire Star is carrying a story that the original votes wasn't valid, but I don't know why this should be.

There are of course, traders, people and Cllrs who disagree. At last nights meeting of the Town Council two people were able to put their thoughts before the Council. Neither of the speakers live in the Tenbury Ward.

One spoke of the prior experience of Leicester and Llandrindod Wells, where the arrival of Tesco changed the town. The other spoke of his concerns about traffic and chaos on the bridge.

I'm not convinced that the situation in Tenbury is similar to Leicester, or for that matter Llandrindod. I've not been to Leicester in more than 10 years, so it might have shrunk. I have been to Llandrindod and I'm certainly confused by the comparison.

Llandrindod has a population roughly double that of Tenbury, and the Tesco is quite a way from the Town centre. You have to pass both the Co-op & Aldi on the way.

There was an interesting letter from a Llandrindod resident who felt it was fine for his local populous to drive the 60 mile round trip to Hereford Tesco and so having one in town was an overkill. Sounds like a very "green" option to me. He also felt that people of Tenbury could easily use public transport to access existing Tesco stores. He clearly hasn't tried that!

The question of traffic, is a concern, but anyone who spends time in Tenbury knows that jams occur quickly and then dissipate just as quickly. There are peaks, but equally there are very long troughs.

There is conflict on the bridge, but there has been for decades and one way or another the traffic sorts itself out.

Will there be problems, sure there will, but after an initial period it will settle down.

So now we await the report of the MHDC planner and the vote of the Northern Area Development Committee. Interesting times indeed.

Shropshire Star

Drop in and see the Regal one last time...

If you've been to the Regal before and are interested in the changes going on as part of the HLF project, don't miss your last chance to see it before all the work starts. The contractors will be on site soon, but before they start we're opening up to show you the auditorium and information about the restoration and renovation work that will be going on.

Friday 14th October | 11am - 2pm
Saturday 15th October | 11am - 3pm

You're free to drop in whenever you want during our open times. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Applefest Volunteers Needed

Additional volunteers are needed to help with Applefest.
If you can spare anytime, (even 1 hour) your help will be most welcome.  

1. Friday 14th October from 12pm to 6pm
Teme Street near Special Occasions and then the Burgage
2. Saturday 15th October from 7am
3. Saturday 15th October from 4pm (Especially this one)
Either call Bernard on 01584819971 or 07979830724 or just turn up and look for people in hi-viz wastecoats.

Democracy in Action

Last month Tenbury Town Council voted 5 to 4 against supporting the Tesco planning application.

This was, as one commentator put it "as close as you could get to 50/50 without a chain saw"

What was slightly unexpected was that between this meeting and the meeting of the full Town Council, many ordinary (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way but people who don't usually become involved in the ways of the Council or write to the press or join action groups)  towns folk and traders sought out and spoke to various Councillors and made their feelings known.

When the original vote was cast 9 Councillors were able to vote, 2 were not permitted as they had personal  and prejudicial interests and 2 Councillors were away.

At the next full meeting of the Town Council, Cllrs were asked to (in effect) ratify this motion, but this time the numbers were different.
10 Councillors were able to vote,  2 were not permitted as they had personal  and prejudicial interests and 1 Councillor was away.  The motion (to ratify) was defeated 6 votes to 4.

This doesn't mean that the Town Council "have done a U turn" and now support the planning proposal, or that they no longer oppose it, but means that pending further discussion they have no official view.

Under "standing order" the rules that govern the Town Council, they are unable to discuss and vote on the same subject more than once in six months, but there is a "get out" which means provided four Councillors submit a written motion, then the subject can be brought back, provided that the written motion is posted for a duration and then voted upon and accepted by a majority.

So next Monday the Council will be able to vote on whether they agree to the motion brought by the four Councillors.

What happens next really depends on who is at the meeting on Monday.

A maximum of 10 Councillors will have a vote. 3 will not be permitted as they had personal and prejudicial interests.

If the written motion succeeds in attracting 6 votes, then the original motion will be brought back for another vote.  In theory if the written motion succeeds then the Council will then vote to support the Tesco application.  This can not then be overturned.  If the written motion fails, then the original motion stands.

I think what we can safely say is that the Town Council are as divided as the Town, and that whilst there is a strong and vocal opposition to the development, there is an equally strong, but much less vocal group in favour.

As I wrote to one of  the founders of what became Tenbury Futures nearly a year ago "I'm sure we will get the right result in the end (whatever that may be)"

(PS: This is my understanding of what happened/is happening, but can't guarantee I'm 100% constitutionally correct or have used all the correct terminology)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bowkett's to sell houses.

The Bowkett family, who have traded in Tenbury for over 100 years and now run the award winning Nisa Grocery store, have teamed up with Barton Willmore, an equally prestigious internationally acclaimed planning consultancy, to develop an area of land on the edge of the Oaklands development.

Although the planning is in it's very early stages, the hope is that a total of 40 houses will be built.  12 will be similar to those in the adjoining development and 28 will be smaller in nature.  40% of the houses will need to be "low cost social housing" to meet national planning rules.

The site, which is outside the Tenbury settlement boundary is classed as a "windfall" site so doesn't currently appear on the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Young Good Citizen Award

The Tenbury Police have awarded their 2011 Young Good Citizen award to Josh Moore.  Josh, who left Tenbury High School at the end of last term, had been recommended for the award both by the school and other town organisations.  The list of his community achievements, volunteering and general good deeds ran to several pages.

Josh who is also a talented musician and singer is unfortunately leaving Tenbury shortly for pastures new.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Tenbury Business Community back Tesco

The results of the Tenbury Town Council's survey of the business community reveal a majority are in favour of the proposed Cattle Market development.

90 businesses in the Town Centre were given the opportunity to express an opinion in an anonymous survey.

70 surveys were returned, 5 could not be counted as the were not completed correctly.

Of the other 65, 46 (71%) were in favour and 19 (29%) were against.

Full Survey Results

These results seem to be at odds with the Chamber of Trade (members) survey (after the first application) which was 50/50, and Tenbury Futures survey which was against.

This could be because the questions in each survey were different or could be that the wider business community's view differs from the small shop keepers which may have been questioned by Tenbury Futures.

The Town Council discussed various aspects of the plan, but after a paper ballot voted 5 to 4 against supporting the application.

Cllrs questioned whether Tenbury needed a store of this size, and expressed concerns of traffic congestion and the need for delivery vehicles to drive through the car park to get to the loading bay.

One Cllr said "Where ever Tesco go they ruin the town" , "If they come here they will cripple this town" which does seem to be at odds with the opinion of the majority of the business community if no one else!

Shropshire Star

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bridge Meeting a Disappointment to Some.

150 or so local people, including some Town Councillors, Shopkeepers, and representatives from the Emergency Services gathered at Tenbury High School on Wednesday to hear the County Council's briefing about the closure of Teme Bridge for repairs.

The meeting was rather light on information, as much of what was revealed was already well know locally.

The only bit of "news" was that English Heritage had refused permission for the upstream pavement to be removed, so the planned widening will no longer happen.

The bridge is expected to be closed for up to five months from 9th January, although it was hoped that it would be possible to use the bridge for periods during that time.  A footpath would be maintained during the closure period and a temporary car park will be established on the North side of the bridge.

The contractor will be chosen not on a least cost basis, but one who can finish the work quickly and can make the bridge available for traffic for as much of the time as possible.  Full details of all these arrangements should be available by mid November, once the contractor had been appointed.

It was explained that the bridge needed repairing and that as it no longer met the statutory requirements additional works would be carried out to bring the bridge up to specification.  It was hoped that these repairs would be the last major repairs for the next 120 years.

There had been calls for the repairs to be shelved, and have a weight limit instead, but it was explained that this would only delay the need to spend even more money in the future and weight limits are virtually unenforceable.

The Council also commented on the idea of a new bridge, but said that they didn't have access to the necessary £8 to £10 million pounds, and that the bridge would have to be sited much further up or down stream as it would not be allowed within sight of the old bridge, and the old bridge couldn't be demolished.

There were calls from the floor for a temporary bridge to be installed during the work which could be funded by tolls.  Again the Council explained that they hadn't the money for a temporary bridge.

A shop keeper asked if they would get compensation for the loss of trade, but was told that no compensation would be available, although there might be the possibility of some rate relief.

The Council said that all the diversionary routes would be gritted in the event of bad weather.  Separate routes would be sign posted for HGVs.

The Fire & Rescue Service will station an engine at the Bromyard Road Business Park during the closure.
Ambulance control will ensure cover is available via the diversionary routes or from Leominster or Bromyard. The Police will have an additional vehicle available in Tenbury.

Tenbury Advertiser
BBC News
Malvern Hills DC

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tenbury Regal - Management Trust is the future.

Local impresario Chris Davis, outlined the case to run the Tenbury Regal under a Management Trust at last nights meeting of the Town Council.

He correctly identified that in the past, the Regal had been owned and run by the Town Council, but in a non proactive way.  This meant that a wonderful local asset spent more time closed and sitting idle than it did, open, entertaining people and earning money.

Many local people didn’t really feel that they had ownership and consequently showed a lack of interest.  The Town Council are not in a position to commit additional resources either financially or in time, so without change the situation would not improve.

Chris and his committee, feel that if the Regal continued to be owned by the Town Council, but was managed by a Trust, there would be significant benefits.

Firstly, with more focused management, there would be more local ownership and much more opportunity for fund raising and for obtaining grants.  There would also be much more scope to make full use of the facility and therefore increase the income.

The plan is for the Trust to be overseen by a Board of Trustees, this board would include at least one Town Councillor, but would also include industry professionals, who have influence and connections.

There would also be a programming committee who would book and arrange all the events, including the cinema.  It is also hoped that a Drama School could be opened, not just for Children, but for anyone who wished to learn about performing and about stagecraft including lighting and sound.

A marketing committee would bring together the promotion of all the events, saving costs but also presenting much more coherent marketing, with perhaps a monthly poster or brochure.

The front of house committee would be responsible for providing the ushers and running a shop, cafe and bar, to maximise the earning potential of the building.

A proper box office would be established whereby people could book tickets for all events, including Internet and telephone booking.

A production committee would ensure that all the facilities of the Regal were available and volunteers or staff were in place to operate them.

Another part of the plan sees the formation of the “Regal Friends”, they would create their own mostly fund raising events, but would on occasion host, receptions or parties for visiting performers.

It is also hoped that both business and private sponsors would be willing to for instance to sponsor a seat.

In the year 2010-2011 the Regal cost just under £37,000 to run but only generated an income of just over £17,000.  So the net cost to the local Council tax payers was just under £20,000.

Under this plan, it is proposed that the trust pays to the Town Council a rent equivalent to the long term debt repayments that the Council are committed to, which is in the region of £4,000 a year, and that the Town Council provides the Trust with a £10,000 grant.  This would ensure that the current community events could continue to be hosted free or at the existing minimal non commercial rates.

It is envisaged that in a short time the Regal would start to generate an operating surplus which initially would be used to upgrade the technical equipment (which isn’t covered by the Heritage Lottery Grant) and then to redevelop the back stage area and community centre.

The immediate net effect to the Tenbury Town Council Tax precept payer would be a reduction from £20,000 to nearer £6,000, which under this scheme would be likely to reduce year on year, rather than increase.

The Town Councillors have been given a month to think about the proposal and will debate it further at the next full meeting of the Town Council on Monday 3rd October.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A picture paints a thousand words, but are all of them true?

The same picture has appeared in both this weeks Teme Valley Times & Tenbury Advertiser showing traffic congestion at the junction of the Old Cattle Market site & Teme Street.

If traffic is always so bad then how do you explain this photo's?

This was taken at 12:40 on 24th August 2011.  I was in town for about an hour, and crossed back and forth across Teme Street several times and there was hardly a car to be seen.

Tenbury seems to get four rushes a day.  Two coincide with school runs and the other I guess is the "rush hour" although the evening one seems to last about 20 minutes.  If the only time you come to town is during these times you probably think it's busy, but at other times, often it's not. (Unless someone puts up temporary traffic lights and doesn't phase them correctly).
Time Stamp Data as requested.
Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Who are Tenbury Futures?

The latest issue of the Teme Valley Times is now available from your local stockists, and once again it contains information and ideas provided by Tenbury Futures.

On their website they describe themselves "A Proactive Alliance of Concerned Local Residents and Businesses" and whilst they remain an "organisation" with no identifiable format or leadership, they seem to have decided to take the position of Town Council, Chamber of Trade and Civic Society to name just three local organisations.

Or is it they disagree with the democratically elected organisations so decided they would just ignore them and create sufficient confusion to get their opposing voice heard.

They claim that the "majority" this and the "majority" that, but if you look closely at the figures you will see that in fact what they really mean is the "majority" of the tiny minority who expressed an opinion or answered a closed question.

In their latest questionnaire they have replies from 32 shops, (out of nearly 100) so were the other shops not interested, did they have opinions that didn't meet the criteria, or did they feel that Tenbury Futures didn't have a mandate to be asking the questions, or did the questionnaires only go to the traders who they thought would give the right answers?

The Town Council and other duly elected representatives have been working and lobbying for many years to get the bridge repaired, and yes the closure will be a major inconvenience, but nothing compared to perhaps losing the bridge altogether in the next flood.  If that happened, who would people look to for a solution?  Tenbury Futures or the various Council officials.

I reported back in April that the bridge would have to close for repairs.  Why is it only now six months later that there is a call to postpone the work? If the traders were so unhappy with the plan, why did so few attend the Chamber of Trade AGM, or at least have the subject raised as an agenda item.  Is it perhaps that the chances of the Tesco application being approved is very high, and this is seen by Tenbury Futures (aka the TesNo group) as a way to also postpone the planning decision.

I think many of the ideas presented by Tenbury Futures have merit, but we live in a democracy with systems and procedures, so it's far better to join the establishment and try to change it from the inside than to keep floating ill conceived ideas in the press.  Perhaps, these proactive residents can join some of the existing Tenbury organisations and invigorate them with energy and new ideas.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Public Briefing Teme Bridge Tenbury

A Public Briefing about the Teme Bridge Tenbury refurbishment will be held at Tenbury High School on Wednesday 21st September 2011 between 7:30 and 9:30 pm.

The purpose of the briefing is to advise on arrangements during the bridge closure to traffic from 9th January 2012.

Advanced notice of issues you wish to raise at the meeting can be conveyed through:
Email - , or
Telephone – Worcestershire Hub 0845 607 2005

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mindless Morons : Updated

Please take a look at the updated "Mindless Morons" post.

If you have any information, however small, please contact either the Police, the Town Clerk, Crimestoppers or even leave an anonymous message on this blog.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tenbury Tesco Plans & Documents

Click on picture for more images. (Will only work when MHDC planning site is working)
The third Tesco application has now been validated and the documents are available online from the planning website, and also in the Tenbury Library and at the Pump Rooms.

If you wish to object, then guidance is available on but as they correctly point out, objections can only be on planning grounds.

Although this is a new planning application, the applicants feel (& I believe that they are correct) that the have already met all the necessary planning requirements in their previous applications, and the only hurdle left to jump is that of design.

There is still the matter of the demolition of the old infirmary, but I'm guessing that provided the developers get approval for the development, then the demolition permission will be allowed.

Malvern planners do not appear to have yet set a closing date for consultations, but expect a decision in early November.

Shropshire Star

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Tenbury Lloyds Bank to close.

Lloyds Bank are being forced by the EU to sell off  620 branches of Lloyds, TSB & Cheltenham & Gloucester branches, throughout England, Wales & Scotland.

The recently renovated building in Tenbury may remain as a bank as Virgin Money & National Australia Bank are expected to bid for many of the branches.

Branches in Ludlow, Leominster & Bromyard appear safe, but Church Stretton, Ledbury, Hereford & Malvern will all loose some or all of their branches.

Full details The Guardian

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tenbury has mindless morons too.

With the trail of destruction across the country it was only a matter of time before someone in Tenbury thought they should join in.  Their target was not a high end retailer, but the new fence surrounding the children's playground.  So, yet more expense for the already financially challenged Town Council to find for repairs.

Further pictures of the other damage done on the same evening (Click to enlarge)

More info : Tenbury Advertiser

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

WCC appear to sink new bridge plan.

From yesterdays Shropshire Star :

Campaigners aiming to stop Tesco’s multi-million pound bid for a new store in Tenbury Wells will tonight plead with councillors to support their alternative plan for the former Cattle Market site.

I was expecting the Pump Rooms to be packed with all the Tenbury Futures supporters, so was rather surprised to see only 2 people that I recognised from the Futures group plus 3 other members of the public (who don't usually attend).

Matt Crawford spoke on behalf of the Futures Group.

He explained that Tenbury Futures "acted as a focal point point for concerned people, businesses, former residents & tourists"

e went on to say "that the ideas were from the 300 returned questionnaires" and that the majority of the people wanted "the reuse of the RBB building, additional car parking, space for the Holy & Mistletoe market and room for the Food Fair & Applefest" also that "Plan B was just one possible use for the site" also "details need to be fleshed out"

He claimed that the Cattle Market had been "closed for 12 years" (which surprised me) and that "a number of grants would be available" 

Tenbury Futures plan to form a "Public Interest Company" and that investors would be "offered a return on investment" with income being derived from "rental income, car parking charges and the sale of excess electricity"

Tenbury Futures had made an effort to contact the site owner, but he remained illusive.

In a later part of the meeting,  WCC Cllr Ken Pollock said that he had visited the Cattle Market site with the County Council's Engineering Project Manager who commented that it was very unlikely that permission would ever be granted for a bridge in that location, and if it was, then for the necessary road linkages, a building on Teme Street would have to be demolished (He didn't say which but I think it's safe to say the Spar block)  With the cost of the planning, land purchase, bridge & road works then the scheme would cost many £Ms.  It was also unlikely that WCC would agree to add another bridge to their ongoing maintenance budget. (See press release for full details)

So that idea is dead then! 

Additional information.

Press Release from Cllr Pollock

289 people returned the Tenbury Futures Questionnaire, of these 101 were from Tenbury Wells & 34 from Burford.  The majority of the people who completed forms also wrote objection letters to MHDC regarding the Cattle Market planning application.
2130 people are registered as voters in the Tenbury Town Ward (this excludes St Michaels)
The 2001 census reported a population of 3,316 in Tenbury Wells and 1,108 in Burford.