Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Who would you miss?

BBC Hereford & Worcester were holding a phone-in this morning about the sad state of the High Street, with the recent demise of Habitat, TJ Hughes, etc.  

I cannot pick up the BBCH&W signal in Tenbury, either on FM or AM, so I rarely listen, except on-line when prompted or motivated to do so.  I was asked to contribute to the program, but a prior appointment prevented me from doing so, and although I was once described as having the perfect face for radio, I find my verbal thoughts are much, much less lucid than my written ones.

I gather the idea of the program was to ask people which retailers they would miss most.

I struggle to think of any national retailer that I would miss, but in Tenbury I think the retailer I would miss most is the one I use most often.  The Barn Farm Shop.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Town Councillors Gagged

Tenbury Town Councillors were reminded by the Mayor at tonight's meeting that they should not discuss Council business with the press.

If they had anything to say on any matter it should be said in the Council Chamber and minuted.

These aren't new rules, but she felt now was a good time to remind Cllrs of their responsibilities.

With several potentially contentious issues affecting the town it was important that any requests from the press should be referred to the Town Clerk.

Okehampton's loss could be Tenbury's gain.

Kerry Ingredients is proposing to close its Okehampton site by 2012 with the loss of up to 106 jobs, as it considers switching production to a larger and more modern unit in Tenbury Wells.

This would be a welcome boost to the employment prospects in the Tenbury area.

Kerry will be offering staff at Okehampton the chance to relocate to Tenbury, although it is too early to say if any will take up the offer.

This years award goes to...

The Tenbury Town Council Annual Achievement Award for 2010-11 has been awarded to Mr Martin (Paddy) Brennan.

The Council chose to make the award to Paddy in recognition of his efforts (and much success) in setting up Tenbury Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) were he is their experienced and qualified head coach.

Paddy has a lifetime of experience in the world of boxing,  as a former amateur International  and Professional boxer.

Paddy recognised that positive benefits of Amateur Boxing. He opened a boxing academy in Tenbury and used his knowleadge in the sport to get young people (being both male and female) motivated to come along and learn about the sport, as well as to give them some discipline and guidence.Although, most importantly giving young people the opportunity to get involved and give them the feel of a place where they belong.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Warning : Motor insurance rules have changed

When the Police first tested an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system in Hereford they got so many hits they thought the system was faulty.  It transpired that more than a few vehicles were driving without car insurance.  

Now due to increasing premiums and the current economic climate the estimated number of uninsured drivers is on the increase, so new insurance regulations come in to force at the end of June 2011.

In future all vehicles will be cross matched between the Central Vehicle Database and the Motor Insurance Database. Any a vehicle that is not registered off road with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) will automatically trigger a prosecution.

If a vehicle does not have insurance, the registered keeper could:
  • receive a fixed penalty of £100 
  • have their vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded, or destroyed 
  • face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum fine of £1000
This will be an ongoing method of reducing the number of uninsured vehicles on the road.  In future it will be no good thinking, "I'm going away on holiday for a couple of weeks, the car is on the drive, so to save money I'll insure it when I get home".

If your car insurance runs out and you haven't arranged for a SORN or new cover, you will automatically be prosecuted. You may even find that your car has been clamped or impounded before you get home.
You have been warned!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

There will be cake!

If you have any time to spare on Friday afternoon, make your way to Brook Farm, Berrington. (Follow the road from Frank Matthews to Little Hereford).

The "chaotic" cottage garden is open as part of the NGS "Yellow Book" open garden scheme.  You will be guaranteed a warm welcome, and most importantly if the weather is still slightly inclement, Tea & Cake.

Generous Tenbury benefits NSPCC

Tenbury customers have been so generous in donating money to the NSPCC,  Tenbury Spar is the second biggest fund raising branch in the Tates group of stores.

Left to right : Dave Powell, Manager of Tenbury Spar, 
Geoff Hallam, Managing Director of Tates, 
Svetlana Kirov, Head of Corporate Partnerships, NSPCC 
& Darran Holmes, Manager of Birmingham University Spar 
(The Biggest individual fund raising branch)

A cheque totalling £1 million pounds was donated to the NSPCC, approximately £20,000 having been raised in Tenbury over the last four years.

The Tenbury Store raised money with sponsored events, such as cycle rides and walks, through quizzes, a local lottery, the sale of second hand books & videos and other fun events. 

More photo's

Monday, 20 June 2011

Witness Appeal After A456 Collision Near Brimfield

West Mercia Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision in north Herefordshire and they would like to trace a driver who saw it take place.
At around 5.55am this morning (20 June), a silver Nissan pick-up truck towing a stock trailer was travelling along the A456 near Brimfield towards Tenbury Wells when it attempted to turn right into a field close to Little Hereford.
As it did so, it collided with a red Ford Mondeo that was travelling in the same direction.
The driver of the pick-up was taken by ambulance to be treated for minor injuries and the road was closed until around 7.30am.
PC Adrian Davies, who is investigating the circumstances, said: "I would like to speak to anyone who saw the collision or the moments leading up to it.
"In particular, I am looking to trace the driver of a red Fiat who was almost involved in the collision himself and stopped at the scene to help out but left before an officer could speak to him."
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Davies via the West Mercia Police non-emergency line, 0300 333 3000, or information can be passed on anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tenbury Advertiser can't add up

With an already long list of errors in its editorial, it seems that the Tenbury Advertiser is now having a problem with it's maths.

Last week it didn't check its figures and ended up claiming the Tenbury Fire & Rescue Station Commander had started as a retained Fireman aged 3.

This week it features a country home on it front page leader for £2M, by page three this has increased to £5M.  That sure is a huge rate of inflation.

I wonder who, if anyone now proof reads the paper, or perhaps as some have claimed it's typeset in a country where English isn't their first language.

Still it does mean that the old saying "you can't believe everything you read in the paper" is still true.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Car Park Charges on the Agenda

Further discussion about implementing car parking charges at Tenbury's Palmers Meadow Car Park are on the agenda for June's full council meeting.  It is already known that the idea has split the Council, but as yet the numbers are not known.  It is very unlikely that a final decision will be made (unless the majority of the Cllrs want to kill the idea) as additional research and surveys will be required to understand who is using the car park.

After giving this subject a lot of thought and reading all the comment from a previous posting (which have been shared with the Town Council) I welcome the idea to investigate the idea further.

As I live in Town I rarely have the need to use either of the Town Car Parks.  The introduction of a charge is likely to be of benefit to me, provided the money raised is used to reduce the precept. For others, it will depend on their individual circumstances.  I had assumed most of the people using the Car Park, would be from outside the area (the area that funds Tenbury Town Council) but from previous comments, this might be entirely wrong.  Only research will tell.

If charges are applied I think that the Palmer Meadow Car Park should be priced as a long term car park, but the minimum charge should be at the very least equal the minimum charge in the Burgage Car Park, but could be for a longer duration.

eg: 60p for 1 hour (Burgage)  60p for 8 hours (Palmers)

I think any notion that the Car Park should be run on an "honesty" system with no non payment penalties is unworkable.  The Car Park is at it's busiest when either the Rugby or Football Clubs are playing.  Word would quickly spread that no payment is required.

There could possibly be a partial refund for people using the Car Park to visit the Swimming Pool (& therefore only parking for a short while).

Many people already buy a MHDC residents pass which allows them up to 2 hours parking per visit (to any MHDC Car Park) for £15 a year.  Perhaps a similar scheme could be introduced for the Palmers Car Park for people who work in the town.

I do think that the Town Council should consider giving WCC/Severn Waste notice to quit.  Severn Waste have put aside sufficient funds to build a modern waste site locally.  It is only lack of imperative that seems to be delaying this project.  If they really cannot find another site then the Town Council should levy a far higher charge for the space being utilised, as it appears we are paying a far higher charge through the WCC precept (to fund the waste contract) and this is ending up as extra profit for Severn Waste, unless WCC are charging a high rent for the facility & passing just £1 a year to the Town Council.

Update after the Town Council Meeting 6/611
The Town Council agreed to form a sub-committee to research the idea of implementing a charge for parking on the Palmers Car Park, but adjourned until the next full meeting (4th July) the decision on who should sit on this committee. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tenbury to Clash with Worcestershire Council

With increasing anecdotal evidence that shoppers will desert Tenbury when the bridge is closed, and after the diversion signing fiasco of recent road closures, both the Tenbury Town Council and the Chamber of Trade look set to clash with Worcestershire County Council over the proposed closure of Teme Bridge.

Extensive repairs are required to the Town's main access bridge that require the bridge deck to be dug up and replaced.  This work is scheduled to be undertaken early in 2012, but could see the bridge closed for several months.  As all the alternate routes into town either rely on very narrow roads or steep hills with sharp bends, concern is growing about how both goods for sale and customers will be able to get into town, especially if we have another hard winter.

Although plans have been discussed to install a temporary pedestrian bridge, many customers who live to the north of the River Teme, have been telling shopkeepers that they will simply go elsewhere.

Unofficial surveys have been carried out and it appears possible to build a temporary bridge between the Fire Station and the Old Cattle Yard.  Although this will add considerably to the cost of the project, it could be enough to stop a number of shopkeepers shutting shop and moving away.

In recent weeks confusing and contradictory diversion signs and road closure notices have been appearing around Tenbury.  On Saturday a sign was placed on the North side of Teme Bridge saying Road Closed Ahead, when the closure was at St Michael's.  A number of people followed the diversion signs only to find themselves on the wrong side of the closure to access the town centre.

The recent bridge closures which were advertised as being from 6am to 6pm, were in fact for much shorter durations, but a number of traders and publicans reported a severe drop in custom during whole day.

There is also concern that looking at the schedule, once the bridge work is complete, the Teme Street drains need to be replaced, the road is to be resurfaced and all the public realm work is to be undertaken, including resurfacing the pavements.  Whilst this is all essential work for the long term prosperity of the Town, it could see up to a year of disruption and inconvenience and could well see many shops cease trading.

Update after Town Council Meeting 6/6/11
Cllr Pollock (WCC) said that the project for the repair of the Teme Bridge had reached the detailed design phase.

He accepted that there would be economic disruption, but said part of the planning included improving alternate routes and said that the diversionary routes would be gritted.

He also said that he felt that a temporary vehicle bridge would be unaffordable.

Cllr Grove was asked if the shops business rates could be cancelled during the closure period, but he felt that this is not something that MHDC could fund.