What Would Trish do?

Trish Marsh is campaigning to be elected County Councillor for Leominster South ward in the by-election on March 23rd caused by the recent death of Peter McCaull. What would she want to do as a Councillor?

Support a thriving town centre 

The Conservative council intends to sell part of Broad Street car park for retail. Green councillors have raised residents’ and traders’ concerns and insist Herefordshire Council must first evaluate impact. The council is forcing Leominster to expand massively in coming years, so adequate parking space and a vibrant town centre are crucial issues.

Provide infrastructure before the town expands 

The council gave Leominster no choice on planned town expansion of more than 2,300 houses yet it has so far failed to agree that  a new road should be built first. The Greens are no fans of new roads but say bluntly our town cannot cope with a ring of new estates without improved infrastructure.

Safeguard Leominster’s green spaces

Support a tougher stance on planning. Prioritise new development on Barons Cross Camp, long earmarked for housing, rather than allow piecemeal development on valued green spaces in residential areas (such as the land at Westcroft).

A fairer share of resources for Leominster

A spending spree goes on in Hereford (such as a £27 million new link road across the city) – while the council fails to fix pot-holes in Ryelands Road and Ivington Lane!  The council economic plan focuses only on Hereford – it should be replaced by a proper county plan.

Crackdown on dog fouling

Reverse the cuts to services which have resulted in more muck in the streets due to the lack of council enforcement.

Clean up our polluted river

The River Lugg is suffering high-risk levels of phosphates and other pollutants. Herefordshire Council has a statutory duty, with other agencies, to protect the river.

Meet Trish Marsh

Trish Marsh is married with two children. She is a former Local Government Officer with Herefordshire Council.  She is a member of Leominster Town Council and is the town’s representative on Herefordshire Cultural Partnership.

Trish is promoting Leominster so it can share in the benefits if the county is successful in its unique bid for ‘UK City of Culture’ status.

Over many years, Trish has worked hard for Leominster and has been a driving force behind several local initiatives.

Prior to council recycling collection she ran Leominster’s first volunteer-led recycling scheme in which money from the sale of ‘waste’ benefitted local good causes.

More recently, she played a major role in saving Leominster Festival from closure.

Trish organises the annual autumn festival of St. Edfrith (founder of The Priory) which helps play a part in bringing Leominster’s rich history alive.

Herefordshire business to benefit from energy efficiency grant

A Herefordshire business has benefited from the first Business Energy Efficiency Programme, set up to help lower running costs and promote energy efficiency.

Caplor Energy, based in Fownhope, is the first business in the county to be awarded the grant. The company was awarded £12,236 for an innovative energy storage project to capture energy from its solar panels.

Read the full story on the Council website.

Leominster left in cold by Tory economic plan

Jenny Bartlett – Elections Officer (North) – Contact Jenny

Green Councillors are challenging Conservative leaders on Herefordshire Council not to cut Leominster adrift in their plans. Green Party Councillor Jenny Bartlett spoke out at a Council meeting saying: ‘The Council’s economic plan is Hereford-centric. They have got the balance completely wrong. Job creation is only happening in Hereford.’

‘New developments in the city include an Enterprise Zone, Business Quarter, University plans, Urban Village, Football Club development and a new River Quarter’ said Cllr. Bartlett, ‘but what about Leominster?’

Members of the Herefordshire Market Towns Forum gave the Conservative Cabinet Member for Economic Development a roasting at a recent meeting. Forum Chair, Green Councillor Felicity Norman said: ‘Our members were dismayed by the lack of consultation, and the clear favouritism being shown to Hereford. We are calling for proper recognition to be given to our market towns, small businesses, and farming, food and drinks industries.’

Pollution levels in Lugg at unacceptable levels and agencies complacent

Green Party Councillors have asked Herefordshire Council to look into pollution levels in the Upper Lugg river, where average levels of phosphates are seven times the limits set by the Environment Agency.

‘This is incredibly worrying,’ said Felicity Norman. ‘Such a serious breach of acceptable pollution levels could have a massive impact on future development and tourism, not to mention river ecology.’

She has written to the Chair of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee suggesting that the Environment Agency, Natural England and local authorities are complacent. She has asked that these organisations, along with the Wye and Usk Foundation, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and other expert groups, are brought together with the Council to devise an urgent action plan.

Councillor Norman has also raised concerns about intensive livestock units and how they are monitored. She thinks that the management of waste and cleaning operations may be part of the problem.

Councillor Norman has already raised the risk to the Council’s future plans should the pollution not be tackled and reduced, asking that the river be put on the Council’s At Risk register.

She has already raised the issue on several occasions but nothing is yet being done.(2)

Leader of the Green Group Cllr. Jenny Bartlett added: ‘The data shows that phosphate levels are way too high. This should be of concern to anyone with a tourism business and anyone who wants to protect our precious countryside. We will continue to press for the Council to take this issue seriously.’

 

Hereford city travel survey

Residents in Hereford city are being urged to take part in a city wide travel survey. The survey results will be used to make sure the council’s transport model for the city remains up to date.Hereford is undergoing an unprecedented period of change and regeneration; the data captured will ensure the council’s transport modelling is capable of supporting transport projects and developments across the city.

Councillor Philip Price, Cabinet member infrastructure said: “We want to make sure we have a cross section of views from residents that we can analyse and consider within the plans, to make them robust. I would urge all residents that receive a questionnaire to take part, so we can ensure we have the very best transport outcomes for everyone.”

The survey will be sent to all addresses within the city boundary and are expected to arrive on door mats from 1 February. All respondents will be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win one of ten £50 Amazon vouchers.

From Herefordshire Council website.

New Year elections

Due to the sad recent death of one of our County Councillors, there will be a by-election in Leominster in the New Year. We will be calling on as many of you as possible for help.

Although we do not have scheduled local elections in Herefordshire next year, our neighbouring counties will be very busy and have been developing their campaigns for many months already. If you are able to help them with leafleting, canvassing or in any other way, please get in touch. You could join a Big Day Out or help at other times. The provisional list of Big Days Out for 2017 are as follows:

Four more councils vote against fracking

Opponents of shale gas in the west country are celebrating a series of recent council votes against fracking.

In the past fortnight, Conservative-controlled Gloucestershire and Herefordshire County Councils have backed anti-fracking motions while Forest of Dean District and Watchet Town Councils have declared themselves Frack Free Zones.

Read a full report here.

Council vote against fracking, sort of

A dozen anti-fracking campaigners welcomed councillors attending the full Council meeting at Shire Hall on Friday (16th December), when a Motion on fracking in the County was to be considered. After a short debate, Council voted unanimously to adopt the Motion introduced by Kerne Bridge Councillor Paul Newman

“The Executive be asked to consider the risks of hydraulic fracturing, and the high importance of tourism income to this County and to write accordingly to the Secretary of State to ask the Government to consider withholding any licence which would allow fracking and any associated hydrocarbon extraction processes in or under Herefordshire’s vitally important Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

As expected, the debate focused mostly on the local rather than wider impacts of fracking, with one contributor saying that other areas of the country not as blessed with natural beauty as Herefordshire ought to be the places where fracking is introduced.

An amendment tabled by Green Councillor Felicity Norman asking for the Motion to cover all of Herefordshire and not just the County’s AONBs was defeated.

It is worth noting that legislation passed at Westminster last December already prevents fracking operations on the surface in a National Park or AONB. What that legislation doesn’t restrict are

  • Fracking operations outside but adjacent to the AONB which use horizontal drilling to reach under the AONB
  • Full visibility from within the AONB of fracking rigs in the vicinity
  • Heavy road traffic from fracking operations using roads within the AONB
  • Any extraction process for Coal Bed Methane which does not use fracking

The latter point means that should a company take up the licences for Herefordshire and find it is possible to extract coal bed methane without the expense of high volume fracking, they are not prevented from setting up operations inside the Wye Valley AONB, subject to planning permission.

However, on the subject of planning permission for fracking, this government has already shown In Lancashire that it is prepared to overturn local council decisions to refuse. Should the lapsed licences for fracking in Herefordshire be re-issued to another company, we are still very much at risk.

The Hereford Times report can be viewed here

Let Council know we don’t want fracking here

Herefordshire Council are meeting this Friday 16 December at 9.30 am to consider fracking in the county. There will be a peaceful anti-fracking presence outside Shire Hall from 9am, to show councillors that people care about protecting the county’s environment – and its tourist industry!

This is due to a motion tabled by Conservative Kerne Bridge Councillor Paul Newman. The motion is not as strong as we would like, as it only refers to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and recommends ‘considering the risks’ rather than saying no to fracking in principle, because the risks are well known. Nevertheless, the debate and decision are important. It may identify councillors, including those from the governing Conservative group such as Paul Newman, who are opposed to fracking, and it could support our campaign to keep it out of Herefordshire. A strong vote against fracking would also put Herefordshire in line with Gloucestershire which recently voted against (although Conservatives abstained!)

The motion for Friday states: –

“I therefore call upon this Council to resolve that: The Executive be asked to consider the risks of hydraulic fracturing, and the high importance of tourism income to this County and to write accordingly to the Secretary of State to ask the Government to consider withholding any licence which would allow fracking and any associated hydrocarbon extraction processes in or under Herefordshire’s vitally important Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Please join us if you can at 9am outside Shire Hall to show councillors arriving for the meeting that keep Herefordshire frack-free matters to local people.

Celebrating success in Leominster

DESPITE substantial ward boundary changes that looked set to benefit the Conservatives, Herefordshire’s 2 Green Party county councillors were re-elected with comfortable majorities.

Jenny Bartlett and Felicity Norman of Leominster were celebrating success today after a hard-fought local election campaign involving many hours of canvassing.

The results declared at the local election count at Hereford Leisure Centre were: Leominster West – Felicity Norman (Green Party) 682, Con 486, Lib Dem 174. Leominster East – Jenny Bartlett (Green Party) 748, Con 587, UKIP 264.