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Market Theatre to become flats??
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 05 February 2021 22:05

A LADS (Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society) member recently had a phone call from a journalist with The Stage, enquiring about an objection the Theatres Trust is making to a planning application regarding The Market Theatre.

LADS Member:  What???!!!
Journalist:  This is The Market Theatre in Hitchin?
LADS Member:  No, it’s The Market Theatre in Ledbury, Herefordshire...

Doh...

According to the Hitchin Comet, the Ledbury theatre’s namesake has been threatened with transformation into five flats by the listed building’s owner.  The Comet has since reported the planning application (to North Herts District Council) has been withdrawn.

The Market Theatre in Ledbury is owned on behalf of the community by LADS, so such a fate is most unlikely befall our theatre.  Whilst the Market Theatre has been forced to close, as have all others, since mid-March 2020 owing to Covid, it is still in a sound position and fully intends to reopen when it can.  It chose not to during the brief spell last summer when theatres and cinemas were allowed to do so owing to lack of notice and the lead time required to programme events.  Instead, it has undertaken a full risk assessment and has put in place a fully Covid-secure system, ready for reopening when this becomes possible.

See the theatre’s website for updates. #WeWillBeBack

 
Multi-faceted contacting for Covid jabs
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Thursday, 04 February 2021 20:45

As the Covid vaccination programme moves towards the septuagenarian baby-boomer generation, candidates can expect to be contacted when it is their turn by various means; namely letter, text or phone call.  The NHS used all three to contact me - at least this made sure, even though it was a case of Left Hand not communicating with Right Hand...

I received a letter on 30th January (dated the 22nd - such is the speed of Herefordshire’s postal service...) inviting me to book via the NHS’s website or ring 119.  This indicated the nearest available location was in Worcester - strange since Ledbury’s Community Hall has been block-booked for this purpose for some time.  The NHS site did state ‘more locations will become available’, so I tried 2 days later - whereupon the nearest had moved out to Cheltenham - so I decided to wait.  It transpired these are mass vaccination sites (there is one in Hereford, but it must have been fully booked both times I tried).

Two days after that I received a text with what appeared to be a suspicious link (which, on Googling, transpired to be genuine).  Following it, I was offered a choice of times and dates, all at the Community Hall - so I booked.  I received a confirmation text by return - from ’Nunwell Surgery’!  Eh! - I’ve been with St. Katherine’s (latterly its reincarnation as Ledbury Health Partnership (LHP), since amalgamation with the Market Surgery) ever since moving to Ledbury over 40 years ago....  (Google revealed that the sender with this rather unfortunate name - given the other spelling of its first syllable that does not refer to a female member of a religious order - is in Bromyard.)

Later, I received a phone call from the Ledbury surgery inviting me to attend the Community Hall the next day - so I told them I had already responded to a text - something that did not surprise their telephonist.  I queried ‘Nunwell’: LHP has teamed up with Nunwell over this.  Bromyard folk are expected to travel to Ledbury (or a mass vaccination site if they prefer).

The Kosher text link is of the form: accurx.thirdparty.nhs.uk/y/xxxxxxxxxx - where xxxxxxxxxx is a combination of letters and numerals that form a code specific to you, and y is a single letter.  AccuRx is a messaging agency used by the NHS.

Some surgeries still withhold their number - not very clever since many people don’t answer withheld numbers and so could risk not getting contacted about their jab.  However, the Ledbury Health Partnership does reveal its, which is 01531-825925.

Update 8th Feb: The whole procedure at the Community Hall worked very well - I was ‘processed’ on time and within 15 minutes.  Given the massive logistics of vaccinating over 50 million people, this is one thing the government does appear to have got right!

Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2021 21:54
 
No Lidl - so what now?
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Saturday, 30 January 2021 20:28

Herefordshire Council has refused developer Deeley’s outline application to build a supermarket, medical centre and nursery on the remaining triangle of land between the bypass and Dymock Road, so what will be the fate of this area?  It does seem that what's good for Aldi is not good for Lidl!  The land has clearly been set aside for some purpose, otherwise Hawk Rise would have spilled into it.

Of the 92 representations in total (ie. including organisations as well as individuals) on the relevant planning page of Herefordshire Council’s website, I counted 40 objections and 21 in support.  The remainder were comments neither for nor against.  Yet the recent storm on the so-called ‘Voice of Ledbury’ Facebook page indicates a strong feeling in favour, particularly of Lidl.  So why didn’t those who felt so strongly respond on Herefordshire Council’s web page when they were able to do so?  (Consultations were open for 6 months!)  Unsurprisingly, the over-priced Co-op was one of the objectors, and even Aldi threw in its twopennorth with a veiled objection.

Ledbury now has an unwanted housing estate in construction next to the site, which was forced through appeal by Gladman (who are well-versed in getting their way with the Planning Inspectorate: they have now pocketted the proceeds and moved on).  Sadly the town has to accept the reality of over 600 new residents and accommodate their needs.  Having a supermarket on their doorstep will decrease the likelihood of further clogging up the town centre with cars (and/or the section of the bypass between the site and Aldi getting over busy, or of Hawk Rise becoming a dormitory ghetto for Gloucester).  However, Deeley’s plans for this site were completely car-centric: if they had included direct pedestrian and cycle access from Hawk Rise, that would have added green credentials and ticked a few more boxes.

Herefordshire Council has missed a trick here: it could have insisted on this 'green' access and slapped a S.106 condition to improve non-motorised access to the site from the rest of Ledbury by requiring the developer to pay for upgrading the Town Trail from the muddy track it has become through over 20 years of neglect.

So what now for this isolated triangle of land? A hotel has been mooted - but that would almost certainly evoke objections from the over-priced hotels already in town.

We can now look forward to the traffic light above Aldi’s entrance being red more often....

Read more...
 
Booking to visit the tip set to become permanent
Written by A. Cyclist   
Friday, 06 November 2020 19:25

Ever since the Little Marcle Road waste site reopened following Lockdown 1, it became necessary to book a visit.  When the new system started, it was not possible to book a slot on the same day, which was very inconvenient if you were finally able to mow your lawn on a sunny day and needed to get rid of the cuttings immediately.  And booking could only be done online - no good for those without internet access.

In August, it become possible to book on the day - but your booking would not show up on the list the attendant is sent at 07:00 that morning.  More recently, new bookings are sent to the attendant’s mobile phone within 30 minutes (though there are times when this fails)...  Some infrastructure has been put in place to facilitate this - clearly something that would not have happened if the booking system was planned to be phased out after the pandemic.

Online booking is unnecessarily long-winded, but it is possible to shorten the process by bypassing Herefordshire Council’s website and going direct to:
capublic.worcestershire.gov.uk/WasteSiteBookingPublic/.  Those who cannot book online may do so by phoning 01432-260000, but obviously this is only possible during office hours.

Although visitors are advised to download the PDF emailed to them for the booking and display it on their phone, this is not necessary: all that is required is to note the booking number that is sent to you.  Another slight improvement to the system is up to 4 visits may be made within a period of 14 days - up from only two - but this is still no use for a major house clearance, etc.  The hassle, together with limited opening hours (which are, fortunately, no more restricted than in pre-pandemic days) encourages fly-tipping.

Visitors to the Ledbury site may arrive by bike or on foot as well as with a motor vehicle, though non-motorised users are told they must not jump a queue of cars.  In reality though, there are seldom any queues - the one advantage of this new regime.  This system has probably made people plan their visits more carefully, rather than go with just one item.  It does, however, prevent those who do not live in Herefordshire or Worcestershire using any site within either county: Bromsberrow residents, even though having an HR8 postcode, now have to go to Hempsted, which is on the other side of Gloucester.

 
Repair Café re-imagined: Update
Written by Repair Café Ledbury   
Sunday, 16 August 2020 19:53

RCL logo

To comply with Lockdown 3, the Repair Café has had to suspend activities again.  Hence sessions for January, February and March 2021 have, regrettably, been cancelled.  We do hope to be able to reopen as soon as possble.

The Ledbury public’s appetite for repair was clearly demonstrated by the success of our first two sessions in February and March 2020.  We are keen to develop the idea of Keeping Repair Alive in Ledbury without, of course, risking any spread of the Covid-19 virus amongst our volunteers, clients, or the public in general.

Our new way of operating this popular service last September was a drop off and collect repair service for portable household items of a mechanical, electrical or ceramic nature.  This proved very successful, so the same format will be maintained when we are able to reopen.  [Please note: All items will be sanitised before being worked on.  This means that we cannot accept any textile or fabric repairs, or any other item where application of sanitising products would cause damage.]

Our volunteer repairers will work at safely spaced-out tables inside the hall, with public drop-off and return desks located at the entrance from Church Lane (opposite the Prince of Wales pub) and from the ally beside Ledbury News on the High Street respectively.

All bookings made so far in 2021 have been held over until we can reopen.  Owing to the backlog, we regret we are unable to take more bookings for some time.  Further details and updates will be posted here.

Repair Cafés are local schemes that promote repair as an alternative to throwing things away.  The idea was born in Amsterdam in 2009, and there are now over 1500 Repair Cafés worldwide.

Repair Cafés do not charge a fee for repairs, but donations towards running costs are gratefully accepted into our cash quarantine box!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2021 22:53
 
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