No city for old people

OH my goodness, Hereford does not want old people.

I wonder if the people who designed the pavements in Hereford city have ever had to push or be pushed in a wheelchair.

It is hell for the person who is having to push the chair, even more so for the person being pushed.

We do not ask to have to be pushed in a wheelchair, but when it’s the only way we are able to go out we have no choice.

From a very unhappy and aged Herefordian who knew Hereford city in its heyday.

ELAINE WHITE Woodfield Gardens, Belmont

A perennial problem...

CONGRATULATIONS to the council on a creative solution to the planting of the flower beds.

Rumour had it that budget cuts equalled no planting this year, but it has happened, the creative solution being to put in perennials rather than annuals.

The beds look lovely and they improve the city at a time when, it seems, the economy is picking up.

What we need now are creative ideas for bringing the people who come to the new shopping complex into the city — attractive flower beds are a start but not enough.

The city centre will need to change if it is not to die.

It may no longer work as a shopping centre but it could become a thriving social/leisure/cultural centre.

LIZ PITMAN Nightingale Way

Waiting for approval

READERS will be interested to know that our bid for Government funding has now been submitted to Westminster and the discussion process has begun.

Decisions are expected by mid-summer.

Specifically we seek support for three important projects, which are: The Inner City Link Road; the A49 to A465 Link Road; and the Model Farm at Ross.

Collectively these projects would bring more than 3,000 new jobs and 1,000 new houses to the county.

The two link roads would make a big improvement to traffic problems in the city.

The A49 to A465 in particular would ease the volume through Belmont and all three are crucial parts of our plans for economic growth.

For the best chance of bid success we must show that plans would attract private funds and represent value for money, that procedures (planning, etc) are in hand, that there are new jobs involved and that we have the backing of the business sector.

Government, quite rightly, also wants to see educational links where possible, examples of previous success and that we have the support of our MPs.

The council has done a huge amount of preparatory work on these projects.

The figures showing value are there and we already have interest from prospective developers and business.

The Inner City Link road will be particularly relevant to the property needs of the proposed new university for student accommodation, etc, and the prospective total number of new jobs speaks for itself.

We can already point to success in attracting private funding of more than £90m in the new retail development which, despite much opposition, has now opened.

This will bring much needed additional income and job opportunity. To follow this with the new projects in our bid, the growing success of the Enterprise Zone and the prospect of a new university really would make the county attractive to new employers.

So, we will continue to do everything possible to ensure the success of these exciting and most valuable developments and keep you advised of progress.

TONY JOHNSON Leader Herefordshire Council

Great day on Dinedor Hill

WHAT a terrific afternoon Marlbrook Holiday Club had on Dinedor Hill during the Easter break.

We were enjoying a walk around the hill, stopping and playing in our favourite areas, when we were intercepted by a Roman centurion.

Christos (Chris Atkinson, who used to be an archaeologist with Herefordshire Council) captivated us with his stunning armour, shield and spear.

He explained about the hillfort, inhabited by Celts about 2,700 years ago, and invited us to see his hillfort model and Roman artefacts that the children loved ‘excavating’ from a sand tray and brushing them clean.

The children also enjoyed holding his Roman sword and trying on his centurion helmet.

Brian Granthier had a range of artefacts, dug up over the last 30 years in his garden nearby, and the children were fascinated by them — bottles of all descriptions, clay pipes, door knobs, pieces of pottery and flints were all treasures to be handled by the children.

We must thank Dinedor Heritage Group for putting on this free event for us, funded by the National Lottery.

We can certainly recommend it.

JENNY TUCKER extended school co-ordinator Marlbrook Primary School

Mistletoe can kill orchards

ORCHARDS are dying — traditional, standard orchards are an important and valuable feature of the Herefordshire landscape.

They encourage a rich diversity of plant and insect life and give shelter to grazing livestock.

Local communities and the tourist industry value them as landscape assets.

Government, council and EU funds have supported their maintenance and replanting.

Yet in this, the most prominent traditional-orchard county in England, they are dying. Mistletoe, a relatively rare plant in some areas of the country, dominates Herefordshire’s old orchards.

Unmanaged, it has rapidly proliferated, sapping infected trees of their vigour and ability to produce fruit.

Mistletoe was once harvested as a cash crop, a useful source of farm income at Christmas.

Nowadays, trees so often succumb to the weight of this invasive plant and are finally uprooted by strong winds.

Although a food source for birds, a lot of the mistletoe berries now growing in our orchards are surplus to requirements.

For such is the abundance of mistletoe that newly-planted standard trees stand little chance of reaching maturity.

Enjoy our traditional orchards while they are still with us for most are beyond repair and, 20 years hence, will be gone.

CHRIS FAIRS Bush Bank, Hereford

Thanks for car boot help

ON April 5 my sister and I held a car boot sale on the Roman Road site in aid of the Renton Macmillian Unit at Hereford Hospital.

We would like to thank all the people who supported us so generously by buying items and making donations.

Also, thank you to the field owner who waived the admission fee.

We raised £160, an excellent amount of money for such a worthy cause.

With renewed thanks.

SUSANNE CARTWRIGHT Audley Avenue, Newport, Shropshire

Parking conundrum

I NOTE that if you spend £20 in Waitrose you get free parking on producing your parking ticket.

Does that mean that while you are getting the refund the traffic warden could issue a parking fine as you would not be then displaying your ticket, which could cost considerably more?


Hereford Gang Show excellence

WHAT an excellent performance once again from some of our local scouts and guides who took part in this year’s Gang Show.

The encouragement from all the volunteers from scouting and guiding brings out the talent these performers have, who are aged from five to adults.

Well done to you all, it was great once again.

MRS PR BURNETT Beaufort Avenue, Hereford