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Hereford Hospital parking charges one of the highest in England
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 20 December 2019 20:10

According to Which?, Hereford County Hospital is 4th= (along with North Bristol, and Ashford and St. Peter’s), all of which charge £3.50 for up to one hour’s parking.  Only North Tees and Hartlepool, Royal Orthopaedic (Birmingham) and Liverpool Women’s are more expensive.  A recent article in the Torygraph bears this out.

Some hospitals charge less, or not at all, for disabled parking - but not Hereford.  However the Conservative Party has stated on its Twitter page: “We will end unfair hospital car parking charges by making parking free for those in greatest need, including disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of sick children staying overnight and staff working night shifts.”We wait with bated breath...

Update 27th December: According to the BBC, “Thousands more NHS patients and visitors will be able to access free hospital car parking, the government says.  From April (2020), all 206 hospital trusts in England will be expected to begin offering the concession in line with the government’s manifesto promise.  Those with the ‘greatest need’ will benefit.  That includes groups such as people with disabilities and NHS staff working night shifts.”

Hereford County Hospital states that the first 10 minutes is free, but I can speak from experience that this is insufficient to get a disabled person out of a car and taken safely into a waiting area within the building.

Hospital parking is free for everyone in Wales and Scotland, except in those few cases where older contracts with car park management companies are yet to expire.

According to a Freedom of Information request made in September 2016, “The carparks at the acute hospital site of the County Hospital Hereford are administered by Mercia Healthcare, our PFI Partners.  They in turn contract out to CP+ (Carpark Plus).”

Mercia Healthcare’s ‘Nature of business’ is listed on the Companies House website as being “Other specialised construction activities not elsewhere classified”, with an address in Bristol.  According to Bloomberg, its ‘Industry’ is “Engineering & Construction Svcs” and ‘Sub-industry’ is “Non-Residential Bldg Const” - obviously not much to do with ‘healthcare’....

A ‘Mercia Healthcare Holdings Ltd’ that has the same address as the County Hospital is listed on Yell.

No company information is listed on Google for “CP+” or “Carpark Plus”.

So it is very unlikely charges made for parking at Hereford County Hospital benefit the NHS in any way whatsoever.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 December 2019 16:40
England’s blue and pleasant land...
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 13 December 2019 11:05

Unsurprisingly, Tory Bill Wiggin was returned in the North Herefordshire constituency, which includes Ledbury - and with a 1% increased majority.  Also unsurprisingly, Labour suffered the greatest percentage loss (-5.6%) and was pushed into third place by Ledbury’s very own Phillip Howells (Lib. Dem).  The Labour loss could partly be due to their candidate (Joe Wood) being yet another ‘plant’ from the West Midlands.  (In recent elections, only the 2017 Labour candidate was local - from Bromyard.)

Adhuc in excremento sumus - sed profunditas aucta est.

Wiggin not considered to be a 'good MP'
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 19:05 has published The People-Power Index: How did your MP score? listing all current MPs (ie. those elected in 2017) in order of 'goodness'.

Bill Wiggin (Conservative - North Herefordshire) is listed as 595th (out of 650). used ten data sources to make the index: these measure the following (in priority order):

  1. Your MP’s availability to their constituents.
    This looks at how your MP is available online (email and social media), offline (holding “surgeries” in your local area and a caseworker), and whether your MP is distracted by a second (or third) job;
  2. Your MP’s participation in Parliament.
    This looks at your MP’s participation record for voting in Parliament, so that your constituency is counted when new laws are passed, and how often your MP raises issues from your constituency in Parliament;
  3. How an MP listens to the public.
    An MP’s top priority is their constituency, but they also have a responsibility to the wider general public to bring political attention to public campaigns and priority issues by discussing them in Parliament.

Update: Even a certain J. Rees-Mogg came in at 555th and his ERG chum Marc François (whose French surname is spelt here as it should be - with a cedilla) was 560th.  Jesse Norman (Conservative - Hereford and South Herefordshire) did somewhat better, at 341st position.  It has come to something when former senior Tories Sir John Major and Lord Heseltine are both advocating voting for independents or Lib Dems.  However, voting tactically in North Herefordshire would be pointless, according to - not surprising since even a sheep with a blue rosette attached to it would stand too good a chance of getting in....
(“Numquid quis oves mentionem?  Speeble.  Squirp..” “Errm.. Yes, Boris - no, Boris....”)

Jonathan Pie’s rant about austerity and Boris’s appalling track record says it all:

Warning: contains colourful language. Nil illegitimi carborundum...

Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2019 21:20
The Brexit Party's Website
Written by Willy Biggun   
Friday, 22 November 2019 19:34

Ed: stuck on Day 9 of its 'Advent Calendar' counting down to the general election, but the price Mr Farage would have to pay to buy the domain is still increasing...

Gladman loses appeal
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 22:09

The Gladman appeal against Herefordshire Council's failure to grant planning permission for P184032/O has been refused by the Government's Planning Inspector.

The application was for 420 dwellings on fields running alongside the Dymock Road, south of the site that Barratt Homes is now developing beyond the bypass (this was an earlier Gladman application that was allowed on appeal).

Throughout the Inspector's report, in addition to issues such as landscape impact and HC's planning policies, she focuses on sustainable transport issues.  She has determined that the site location is so far from Ledbury's schools, amenities, the train station and employment and is so poorly connected by desire-line, safe cycling and walking routes, that residents will be car dependent.  This is contrary to planning policies and with consequent danger to vulnerable road users.  The full report is available on Herefordshire Council's website.

Thanks to all who took the trouble to write to object to this planning application.  Every individual's contribution has an impact!

The third Gladman attack on Ledbury, for 210 houses opposite the UBL factory on Little Marcle Road seems to have gone quiet: Herefordshire Council's planners asked for more information in April 2019.  No reply had been received so the council wrote to Gladman on 1st October to say the application had been 'disposed of'.


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