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Mortimer Villages Article – January 2018 – County Councillor Carole Gandy

Firstly may I wish you all a Happy New Year. From a weather point of view it has been quite depressing with snow, gales and heavy rain and unfortunately the frosts we have experienced prior to and since Christmas has only caused more degradation to our local road network. However part of the ongoing dispute with Amey, the contractor prior to Balfour Beatty has now been resolved and Herefordshire Council has received £5.5 million with more to follow which I have been assured will be spent on road resurfacing and repairs during 2018/19. I will do everything I can to ensure that Mortimer ward gets its fair share of this money.

I and my husband Barry attended the Wigmore Christmas Concert which was very enjoyable and I thank all those staff and parents involved in getting the show on the road.

I have also attended the two open meetings organised by the parish council to consider the draft proposals for the Wigmore Group Neighbourhood Development Plan. If you still have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Myself and a parish councillor will shortly be visiting Wigmore School to chat to Wigmore children about the sort of leisure facilities they might like to see in the Wigmore area. We do not wish to raise expectations but we do believe that more could be provided for young people in the area.

You will by now have read that Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to raise their portion of the Council Tax by 4.9% of which 2% will be ring fenced for Adult Social Care. We recognise that for some this increase may cause some hardship as overall as a County many of our residents are on low incomes. If you are such a person or family, please check with Herefordshire Council as to whether you are entitled to a reduction under Herefordshire Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme. I believe that a council’s first responsibility must be to look after its most vulnerable residents and therefore, with an increasing elderly population and the need to increase the Childrens Services budget by £2 million whilst maintaining other essential services, difficult decisions had to be taken which I support.

Our hospitals, GP practices and Adult Social Care have been under great pressure this winter, in fact it is now becoming the norm throughout the year. If you have any suggestions on how such services can be improved or you require information about how to access local health and social care services do not hesitate to contact Healthwatch Herefordshire on 01432 277044 or email them at info@healthwatchherefordshire.co.uk who are there to help you. They may also use your views to make recommendations to influence and improve services in the future.

Leintwardine Library is a vital service for many people in parts of Mortimer ward and very well used but for some who are less mobile it may seem that their library service is no longer accessible to them. Herefordshire Library Service offers a home delivery service which provides books and talking books for those who due to age, frailty, mobility or disability cannot access a library. The service is also available to carers of people within the above categories. You may borrow a maximum of 20 books and 12 CDs at any one time and the service is free. You will be visited every 6 weeks on the same day of the week. If you are interested please contact the Delivered Library Services staff on 01432 260645.

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