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Mortimer Villages Article – Winter 2017 – County Councillor Carole Gandy

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My husband and I attended the car boot sale at Bury Lane and were very impressed with how well it was organised and how popular it was. I hope a lot more events could be held on the field.

Whilst there I spoke to some of the lads and parents keen on having a small skate park in the area and I was impressed with their enthusiasm and apparent commitment. I believe that such a provision for the young people of Wigmore would bring a considerable benefit.

As we approach the festive season I am sure that many of you are busy organising community events and I hope they go well. For me this time of year brings amazing colours and some brilliant sunny days but also dark cold, wet and often foggy nights which draw attention more than ever to the poor condition of many of our rural roads. You will have read that Herefordshire Council has been awarded £5 million by the government to focus specifically on the strategic economic corridors leading to Herefordshire’s Enterprise Zone. Many of you will say what benefit is that to us but if by 2020 the government grant disappears and is replaced by councils retaining 100% of their business rates then Herefordshire must attract more businesses into the County and the Enterprise Zone is geared up for the challenge.

The Mortimer group of Parish Councils recently met to consider a joint response to Herefordshire Council’s budget consultation. We identified the three main priorities as rural road maintenance, broadband and gritting. We recognised that there were many more issues but felt that by concentrating on a few might have a greater impact.

If you are an entrepreneur, own a start-up or SME located in the Midlands, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) could provide the funding you need to help your business realise its potential so please take a look at their website. It may well be that you are missing out on funding to boost your business.

The children of this County are our future and it is good to see that the support Herefordshire Council gives to our Early Years children has moved from being one of the worst performing five council areas in the country in 2010 to being one of the top 25% nationally in 2017. One of the most important duties of a County Council is to ensure its young children get a good start in life and I am really pleased to see such an improvement.

Following on from this I would like to make a plea to all of you, Herefordshire has a small but significant number of children who have been identified as suffering from neglect. Cases of neglect often rely upon local people flagging up to the authorities a concern. Do not be afraid to do so, calls will always be taken seriously. If you have a concern please do not hesitate to contact cypd@herefordshire.gcsx.gov.uk or 01432 260800.

As always please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a problem, or just want a chat. I am also always happy to visit you if that would be easier. Just telephone 01568 780583 or email carole.gandy@herefordshire.gov.uk

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