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This summer has been wonderful, particularly after such a bad winter and spring but for some particularly for those of our more elderly residents who find it difficult to keep cool and for our farming community it must have been a particularly challenging time.
A piece of good news is that Herefordshire Council has released a further £2,800,000 from reserves as a result of the Amey ongoing appeal to invest in public realm services. This will include £800k additional patching work on B & C roads, £450k on drainage works and £250k on innovation in pothole repair systems. A further £1,252,647 has been provided by the government to be used to repair potholes and to protect local roads from severe weather. This includes an additional £500k for pothole repairs on rural C &* U roads £252k on additional patching of B & C roads and £500k on additional drainage works. I recognise that there is still a long way to go but I am hoping we have turned the corner and that you will see considerable improvements in the maintenance of our roads in Mortimer ward over the coming months.
Border Group Neighbourhood Plan is progressing and a referendum should be held shortly . I hope all of you who had comments to make on the Plan did so and that you all read the plan and familiarise yourself with its content before the referendum which I would urge you all to participate in.
For those of you who use the library at Leintwardine, I am continuing to highlight its importance and during the recent discussions at the County Council with regard to the potential outsourcing of library services have expressed my views that any potential changes must not impact adversely on the good work the library and its volunteers at Leintwardine are doing. It is important that this community service is recognised as providing to local residents, particularly our most vulnerable, much more than just the ability to borrow books.
Herefordshire Council’s Childrens Services directorate recently had an Ofsted inspection and was once again rated as Requiring Improvement. As I have advised previously we have a significantly higher proportion of children in care than many other authorities and also a greater percentage of children on child protection plans. This is a very worrying situation and obviously takes up a considerable amount of our budget.
We are also about to do some work on childhood obesity which is a problem throughout the country and also child dental health which is particularly poor in Herefordshire.