Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas

The Bright Ideas Fund is now open!

Do you have a bright idea for a community business? Need a bit of help developing it and making it a reality? Then this is the fund for you.

The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000. If you’re planning to apply, don’t forget that you need to

  • fill in the eligibility checker by 29 September by 5pm
  • getting your application together by 30 September 2019 by 11.59pm.

Full details available here

Princes Countryside Fund – The Village Survival Guide

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has published The Village Survival Guide, a vibrant, entertaining manual featuring case histories, checklists and practical advice. The guide is intended to help those living in the countryside to utilise the talents available in their own communities to tackle some of the social and economic challenges they face.

Read it online or order a hard copy here:

NEW Volunteering Opportunities – This Summer & beyond!

Onside is a registered charity providing independent advocacy, and mentoring to vulnerable adults facing disadvantage through mental and physical ill health, learning disability and old age, depression, dementia, autism, learning difficulties. We provide our service across Herefordshire & Worcestershire and we are currently looking to train more volunteers from your local area.

NEW to this summer has been social prescribing, within Worcestershire

Social prescribing, enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. It recognises that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health.
Social prescribing can be utilised to address a range of issues that people might be facing eg loneliness isolation, debt, housing crisis. low level mental health issues etc. Individuals will be signposted to other specialist’s services or facilitated to take part variety of activities that may be beneficial Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.
We are very keen to involve volunteers in this exciting new project and would be keen to talk with anyone that would like to find out more. Predominantly volunteer roles will involve providing additional support to patients enabling them to attend activities like the ones outlined above, one to one mentoring or support to tackle specific issues e.g. debt, or conflict resolution etc.

Advocacy is a way of supporting and empowering people to ensure that they have their voice heard and their wishes made known to others and we are looking for volunteers to provide this support in their local area.

Mentor volunteers are needed to provide a supportive and reliable relationship to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Opportunities are also available for telephone befrienders and to support local groups which focus on gardening, art, walking and social activities. We also have our drop in service which provides help for people with Autism, along with one to one support for this project.

Onside’s Volunteer Manager, Claire Watkins, said “Our volunteers provide the support required by the members of our community who might otherwise be ignored. Our volunteers give their time, their passion and enthusiasm we need continued help from willing volunteers who would enjoy supporting adults in their local community.”
Volunteering with Onside is a flexible commitment; as little as 2 hours a month can be given with full training .

Volunteers enjoy the flexible aspect of our work along with the chance to join in at our local support events we run for volunteers including regular coffee mornings. The comment that really sums it up came from one volunteers – “I seem to make a difference every time I visit, she laughs and I do, she had cheered up as she hadn’t seen anyone else all week ”
We are currently arranging our next training course and places are limited.
If you are interested in finding out more, or keen to get started please contact Claire on 01905 27525 or e mail

Decision to pause and review major transport infrastructure projects

Letter from
Cabinet Member Infrastructure & Transport
Councillor J Harrington

Following careful consideration the decision has been taken today to pause two major transport infrastructure projects, the Hereford bypass (part of the Hereford Transport Package) and the Southern link road (part of the South Wye Transport Package), to allow further time to review the schemes in more detail.

 The views of residents, commuters and local businesses are very important to us. It is vital that travel, transport and infrastructure developments in Hereford support the economy, help to improve health and wellbeing and make Herefordshire a better place to live, work and visit. We also need to ensure we effectively respond to the climate emergency declared by Herefordshire Council and the Government.

 As part of this review it is important to consider alternative options. For example this will include infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians (including safe routes to school), an eastern river crossing, and trialling the removal of some traffic signals. It could also include options for an electric bus service, improving school bus services and an ultra-light rail system.

 All options need to be considered as we look to the long term and towards providing a high quality, integrated and low carbon transport system for the whole of Herefordshire, not just for the immediate future but for generations to come.

 The timetable for the review is not yet determined and a further report setting this out and what will be involved will be prepared for consideration and approval in due course. This will be publicly available on the council’s website.

 As you are somebody with an interest in these major transport schemes I am sure you will appreciate the need to thoroughly consider all of the issues before making a decision that will impact on residents in Hereford and across the county.

 You will find further information about this decision on the council website at, by searching for decisions, then clicking on the decisions and documents tab. Please be aware that this decision may be subject to call-in by the council’s scrutiny committee – details of which will be published with the decision notice.

 We will continue to keep you informed on progress. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this decision you can contact us at or call us on 01432 261800.

Reminder to lock out thieves during the hot weather

Police are reminding people not to leave their home open to thieves this summer

It can be easy in the summer months, especially when the weather is warm, to forget you’ve opened a window or left the back door open before you go out or go to bed. It only takes a few moment to double check but could help prevent your home being targeted. If you’re in the back garden, make sure you haven’t left any ground floor windows open at the front of the house and always make sure valuable items, such as car keys, mobile phones or wallets, are not in easy reach of an open window

If you’re going away make sure the house is locked up before you go and the burglar alarm is set. Hide any valuable items from view from the outside and don’t leave anything in the garden that could potentially be used to gain entry into your home. Be mindful of where you store your wheelie bin too and consider if it could be used for someone to climb on and access an upstairs window or used to climb over into the garden. If you’re leaving the car at home and have a garage, park it in the garage while you’re away rather than on the drive and if you’ve got gates close and lock them with a good quality lock.”

For more crime prevention advice visit

Severn Trent / Traffic lights on B4215 from Wed 23rd July 2019

If you did not attend the Severn Trent presentations, you may not have seen the information below, which I have now received from Philip Smith. As previously announced, there will be traffic light control along the B4215 for up to eight weeks from this week.

According to Philip, the traffic lights will cause a ‘slight’ delay to road users whilst vehicles navigate the 200m traffic management section on the B4215 from Wednesday 24th July. During the roadworks, Severn Trent will be using new traffic light technology called AutoGreen which uses advanced radar technology to detect rising levels of congestion, adapting signal behaviour to reduce the impact of traffic on surrounding areas and the environment.

AutoGreen ‘understands’ when traffic is blocking the road and won’t change until the blocked users get a fair turn. We shall see how this works in practice, but it may be better than the current lights in Highnam, which do not seem to understand anything about traffic movement!

Peter Coulson

The Newent Roads Team

NDP Steering Group meeting for July 25th cancelled

The next Steering Group meeting on Thursday 25th July has been cancelled as the main start up work has now been completed and our Consultant is drafting up the document.

We will keep you posted on the date of the next meeting, and as a reminder the dates held for the rest of 2019 are

  • 22nd  August
  • 26th September
  • 24th October
  • 28th November

For information on progress and copies of reports please visit the NDP area of the website.