NEWS...

Wood burners: Most polluting fuels to be banned in the home...

Owners of wood burners, stoves and open fires will no longer be able to buy coal or wet wood to burn in them, under a ban to be rolled out from next year.

Sales of the two most polluting fuels will be phased out in England to help cut air pollution, the government says.

Bags of logs sold in DIY stores, garden centres and petrol stations often contain wet wood - a type of wood which produces more pollution and smoke.

The public should move to "cleaner alternatives", the government says.

Plans for the ban were first announced 18 months ago, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has now confirmed it is going ahead.

The government said wood burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of PM2.5, small particles of air pollution which find their way into the body's lungs and blood.

"Cosy open fires and wood-burning stoves are at the heart of many homes up and down the country," said Environment Secretary George Eustice. 

"But the use of certain fuels means that they are also the biggest source of the most harmful pollutant that is affecting people in the UK." 

The changes will mean: 

  • Sales of bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose coal direct to customers will end by 2023
  • Sales of wet wood in small units (less than 2m3) will be phased out from February 2021. Wet wood in volumes greater than 2m3 will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning
  • Makers of solid fuels will also need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.

It is not banning wood or coal burning stoves.

Officials said the phase-out will give the public and suppliers time to use up stocks and move to cleaner alternatives, such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels.

These alternatives produce less smoke and pollution, and are cheaper and more efficient to burn, the government added.

What is wet and dry firewood?

Wet - also known as green or unseasoned wood - is often sold in nets and is cheaper to buy. 

It contains moisture which, when burned, creates more smoke and harmful particles of air pollution (PM2.5) than dry wood.

Wet wood can also damage chimneys much more, by allowing tar and soot to build up.

Dry or seasoned wood - which has been dried out, often in a kiln - has a moisture content of 20% or less.  21.02.2020 BBC

WHAT TO DO IN A FLOOD

 If you or someone else is in danger dial 999 

 

Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters, Turn Around and stay safe!  

Just six inches of moving water can knock you down.  Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.    Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.  Evacuate if told to do so.  Move to higher ground or a higher floor.

 

How to Report a Flood...  

◦ Flooding to your property from river or groundwater flooding - call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (24-hour service). 

 To report a flood on a road, footpath or property - call Herefordshire Council on  01432 261800    ◦ 

Flooding from a burst water main or sewer flooding - call Welsh Water on 0800 085 3968 (24-hour service) or Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444 (24hour service) 

How to Check River Levels

https://riverlevels.uk/ 


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Grateful thanks to the Flood Watch ladies along with their contributors for keeping us up to date with travel on local routes.

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HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL TAX INCREASE

Council agrees budget setting and council tax rates 2020/2021 set to increase by 3.9%

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/news/article/933/council_agrees_budget_setting_and_council_tax_rates_for_202021

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LINGEN DAFFS

These daffs were planted by villagers (under licence) in 2006 to brighten up the verges beside our village nameplates. The daffodils were purchased for this purpose by the local group ‘Lingen Arts All Inclusive’ (LAAI) with the majority of the forerunning snowdrops being donated by residents from their gardens.

The full story can be seen on the Lingen Arts All Inclusive web page https://lingen.org.uk/arts-all-inclusive

Our daffodils are Narcissus Pseudnarcissus; the wild Tenby daffodil. Of these in the late 16th century John Gerard wrote that wild daffodils grew almost everywhere in England. Since then they’ve become increasingly rare due to agricultural intensification. 

These spring flowers have been given many names across the ages and counties, for example ‘fairy bells’ in Dorset and ‘lenty cups’ in Somerset.

In folklore, they are considered lucky and not to be stepped on. In giving a loved one a bunch of daffs, you are sending them good luck.


 

CANCELLED ART CLASS 27.02.2020 due to travel restrictions and predicted weather conditions.


ART CLASS CANCELLED - As the weather is still very wet and the flooding in the area is quite severe, and with more rain forecast the Art class for this Thursday the 20TH FEBRUARY HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Stay safe and dry and we hope the flooding doesn't effect you too badly. 

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CANCELLED AYMESTREY CONCERT FRIDAY 21.02.2020 DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS


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The NEW polymer £20 note is due out on 20th of February; apparently indestructible along with key security features, this one is made to last.  The new note features British artist JMW Turner. 

You will still be able to use the old £20 note; a six month period of notice will be given before it's finally withdrawn.

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A real MOOdunnit! Farmer is fined £4,000 after DNA evidence proved he stole neighbour's escaped cow and re-tagged it as one of his own herd...

  • David Owens, 51, re-tagged the £3,000 animal and claimed it was his own 
  • One of owner's 300 cows went missing in Dec 2017 and saw it in Owen's field
  • First case in UK history to use DNA evidence to prove a cow was stolen.

A farmer has been fined £4,000 after DNA evidence proved he stole his neighbour's cow.

David Owens, 51, re-tagged the £3,000 farm animal and tried to pass it off as his own after it escaped from a nearby field in St Clears, Carmarthenshire. 

The cow's real owner reported one of his herd missing in December 2017 after spotting it in his neighbour's field. 

He denied he had seen it, but for the first time ever in UK history, police used the animal's DNA to prove it had been stolen.  

Owens was forced to provide police with a cow passport, listing ear tag numbers for the cow and the animal Owens claimed was its mother.

A warrant was issued for the cow and blood samples taken from it were successfully matched with other cows from its original farm and the 51-year-old was charged.

Owens pleaded guilty to theft after a criminal case at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, with Dyfed-Powys Police claiming they are now the first force to use technology to bring someone to justice over a stolen animal.  

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FOUND ON CHAPEL PATH

A pair of secateurs that would be nice to return to the rightful owner - found on Chapel Path that runs upwards from the road.

They are safe & sound - the owner is welcome to message via Lingenweb with a description/colour so that finders can reunite.  DM

MORTIMER MEDICAL PRACTICE PPG NEWS...

Herefordshire One Record This has now been launched and practices have access to notes made by the palliative care teams and district nurses. This is already proving useful.

PPG issues  Hand Gel It has been suggested that hand-gel stations but put in reception areas. Free standing bottles are supposed to be in place but they do disappear.

Winter Pressures PPG asked what the impact on the practice has been. GC responded; our waiting times for a routine appointment went up to four weeks, now down again to three. Funding to run extra clinics has been included with the practice’s contract with the CCG. This money had been used for Drs Mathias and Davis to provide extra clinics.

The temporary closure of the Community Hospitals has had an effect on appointments as has the increased waiting times for out patient appointments. Many patients who had the flu vaccine have still caught an untypable Influenza A virus. 

Practice News Dr Gray will be retiring this year and Dr Kemp has accepted a partnership in the practice. As Dr Gray was Clinical Tutor we will not be able to provide placements for students this year. It is hoped that we will be able to do this again in the future.

Ear Irrigation  This service is still not running. The member of staff who will be running the service needs now to be signed off by ENT. Hopefully this will be done very soon.

Sink Hole The road through Lugg Green, Kingsland is now open again. Temporary work has been done to make the road safe. It will be closed again in April once the badgers living beneath it have finished breeding and the road can be repaired without upsetting them.

Green Impact  Green Impact is an initiative for practices to encourage environmentally friendly working. The project is run by Bristol University and the Royal College of GPs. The practice has signed up to this.

Questions from patients

Breast Screening The practice is not notified when appointments are made for patients but results and lists of non-attenders are sent.

Zapain A member of the group had been prescribed 100 Zapain tablets recently. She had not been told this was an opioid and given that the information leaflet suggests that this drug should only be taken for three days the reason for prescribing 100 tablets was queried.

Access to online medication ordering The easiest way to access this system is via the practice website www.mortimer.gpsurgery.net

Home Visits  Following recent press articles the practice confirms that they will continue to carry out home visits for those patients who need them.  

CM PPG REP.

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THE NATIONAL TRUST

2020 is the 125th anniversary of the National Trust and to celebrate this special birthday, they're aiming to raise £125,000 to support a number of special projects across the English Riviera properties; Greenway, Coleton Fishacre, Bradley Manor and Compton Castle. 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway/features/celebrating-125-years

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RSPBBIG GARDEN BIRD WATCH

took place over the weekend (25-26.1.2020) with the House Sparrow currently top of the spotters list.

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Leek and Butterbean Soup

Rich, thick and inexpensive!  Serves 4

400g baby leeks, 400g leeks, trimmed and sliced, 

1 small onion, peeled and sliced, 2 cloves garlic, sliced, 2 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained,
4 sprigs of thyme leaves only, 1 bay leaf,
70ml extra virgin olive oil, 1.1L vegetable stock.


Heat a little butter or oil in a large sauce pan and add the sliced onions and leeks. Cook gently for 10 minutes until softened, covered with a lid. Don’t allow the leeks to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn as they will become bitter. After 10 minutes, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt and pepper and continue to cook in the same way for a further 10 minutes. 

Drain the butterbeans, rinse, and tip into the pan with the leeks. Cook for 2 more minutes, still covered with a lid and then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 

Using a jug blender if possible, but alternatively a hand held stick blender, blend until very smooth and velvety in consistency, adding the extra virgin olive oil as you blend. 

Tip back into a clean pan and taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice. Return to the heat and when piping hot, serve. Top with a drizzle of olive oil  or cream.  Enjoy!  GL


IT'S PANCAKE DAY ON 25TH FEBRUARY

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BEE FOLKLORE
If a bee comes into the house you'll have a visitor but you mustn't kill the bee or the visitor will bring bad news.  
You've been warned!
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KNIGHTON ROTARY CLUB FEBRUARY NEWS  

News and update for February 2020

The month started with a “frugal” lunch at our Rotary President Chris Price’s home in Norton, which was well attended by members and warmly welcomed guests. We also welcomed two new members Emlyn and Rosemary Williams to the Rotary family – they are now part of a worldwide organisation, joining over 1.2 million Rotarians supporting their local communities. They expressed their pleasure in being part of our vibrant and active Rotary Club and we are delighted to have them on board. This frugal lunch raised £260 for our charitable efforts. The following week we met at Rotary members Sheila and Kim Smith’s home in Leintwardine and raised £175 from another frugal lunch – this money will go towards Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. The month finished off with Helen Davies talking to us about the cancer support charity the Bracken Trust. Although they are based in Llandrindod Wells, they have an outreach centre in Knighton and support everyone affected, either directly or indirectly, by cancer. We were inspired by the work that the Bracken Trust does and were pleased to be able to donate over £300 to their work for the communities of Powys and beyond. If you want to find out more about what our Rotary Club does, you can explore the Knighton Rotary Club website or Facebook page, or come visit us on a Wednesday lunch or evening - you will be very warmly welcomed. Contact Norman Thorp 01547 529666 or Cathy Jones 07813 733240 for more details. Catch up next month!

NEWS FROM WARD COUNCILLOR CAROLE...

LINGEN WEB SPRING 2020 

Firstly, may I wish you all a belated Happy and Prosperous New Year. For some of you the end of last year and the beginning of this year was very difficult, with your properties being flooded on more than one occasion. I recognise how distressing this must be but I believe until it happens to you it is impossible to imagine the affect it has upon you. I have spoken to some of those affected, on the phone and others at a recent parish council meeting. I arranged a meeting at the beginning of January with representatives from the parish councils in Mortimer ward, Balfour Beatty, Herefordshire Council and the Environment Agency to allow each parish to make it clear to all these statutory bodies the impact of the flooding upon their parish. A further local meeting is to be held in Walford at the beginning of February to try to improve the situation in that part of the ward which not only impacted on Walford and Buckton but also upon Leintwardine. Following this there will be a further meeting at the beginning of March, again with all the statutory bodies and this time all parish councillors, to ascertain, what work is going to be carried out to try to alleviate flooding in the future and what parishes and individuals can also do to protect themselves. I am looking at whether Border Group parish could set up a Flood Groups or at the very least have Flood Wardens in those areas particularly susceptible to flooding and am speaking to parishes such as Bodenham where a scheme already exists.

Herefordshire Council will be setting its budget in March and I am very disappointed, having seen the draft proposals that so much capital money is going into Hereford City. Many roads in Mortimer ward, are in a very poor state and I have included them in a list for resurfacing this coming financial year, but I am not hopeful. I did in fact attend a Balfour Beatty quarterly update briefing for councillors on the 29thJan and we were advised that following the flooding they had at that time 500 emergency defects and 4,500 Cat 2 defects outstanding. All work being carried out by BB was re-active 

The gully jetting programme had been suspended in order to focus on priority sites and there was a 200 gully jetting backlog. 

Just to give you an idea of the dire situation, according to the DfT it would require an investment of £8 million per year to be spent on our roads just to stand still and BBs budget for 2020/21 is £1.7 million. £2.2 million per year needs to be spent on bridges and their budget is £700,000. Their high priority backlog of work at that time amounted to £15.9 million so you can see the huge challenge they have. There are 300 drainage schemes on hold awaiting funding. 

We are hoping for some more money in the March Government Budget and I shall be pressing for that money to be spent on rural roads. 

Let’s hope that the picture I paint turns out not to be so bad. If you need to contact me about a particular issue or just to have a chat please do not hesitate to do so either by emailing me carole.gandy@herefordshire.gov.uk, or telephone either 01568 780583 or 07792882133. I am always happy to come out and visit you at your home if you feel that would be helpful.