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NEWS | Fire crews remain on the scene after Peacocks store in Monmouth was destroyed by fire

Credit: South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service crews remain on the scene of a major fire in Monmouth this morning.

An update from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service that was released yesterday (Monday 23rd May) said:

Multiple crews from Fire and Rescue Stations across South Wales, including Monmouth, Caerphilly and Maindee, are currently in attendance at the scene of a large fire in Monmouth alongside emergency service colleagues and partners agencies.

At approximately 9:20am on Monday 23 May 2022, we responded to reports of a fire on Monnow Street in Monmouth. Upon arrival, crews faced a large, well-developed fire affecting a commercial property.

At this time, the fire is contained to one property and has not spread to neighbouring properties. The road remains closed at this time and crews will remain at the scene until the area is made safe.

It is advised that anyone needing to travel to or from the following schools to plan alternative routes/transportation:

  • Monmouth Comprehensive School
  • Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools (girls and boys)

We urge the public to avoid the area and to continue following the advice and guidance of Gwent Police and Monmouthshire County Council.

NEWS | Free car parking during the four-day jubilee weekend in Powys

Powys County Council has announced that there will be free parking in all council owned car parks throughout the four-day Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are happening between 2 – 5 June 2022 with an extended bank holiday weekend providing the opportunities for communities to come together to celebrate this historic milestone.

Following the invitation from the council to apply for free road closures to enable residents to organise their own street parties, the latest move to remove all parking charges for the weekend will help facilitate these celebrations in our local towns.

Nigel Brinn, Executive Director Economy and Environment said: “We are delighted that so many of our communities have applied for road closures across the weekend and are planning on hosting a street party to mark the Queen’s historic 70-year reign.

“By removing all parking charges for the duration of the weekend we hope to not only further encourage residents to visit our local towns and get involved with the jubilee celebrations but to also play our part in supporting our local businesses that are honouring this momentous landmark.”

Residents and visitors will be able to park for free in all council owned car parks on Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June.

NEWS | Council’s planning committee set to decide whether to grant permission for huge solar farm that could provide power for more than 11,000 homes

Herefordshire Council’s planning committee is set to decide today whether to grant permission for a huge solar farm that could provide power for more than 11,000 homes on the outskirts of Hereford.

This application was submitted on the 25th October 2021 to the Council following pre-application advice in September 2020. The application seeks permission for a solar farm comprising an array of ground mounted solar PV panels with associated inverters/transformers and a sub-station compound, as well as fencing, security cameras and cabling.

The application site occupies several agricultural fields within the Parishes of Mordiford and Lugwardine on land located 5.4km to the east of the city centre of Hereford. The site is located on the western side of Clay Hill Pit Road (C1292) which connects the villages of Dormington and Mordiford.

The site is located immediately to the west and south of the existing Dormington substation and extends beyond the River Frome at the northern end of the site, whilst at the southern end of the application site the River runs along the western boundary, with Larport Lane running along the southern boundary.

The boundary of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located 480m to the south east of the site. There are a number of Ancient Woodlands within the surrounding area, however the large Haugh Woods are located 850m to the south east of the site. The southern part of the site is located within the unregistered Historic Park and Garden of Old Sufton. The Registered Park and Garden of Sufton Court, which also forms the boundary of the Mordiford Conservation Area is located 900m to the south of the boundary of the site. It is also noted that the unregistered park and garden of Longworth Hall is located to the west of the site. The River Frome meets the River Wye 1.8km to the south of the site.

The nearest villages to the site are Dormington to the north east at around 800m, Priors Frome to the south east at around 600, and Bartestree and Hagley to the North West at around 450m. St Michaels Hospice is located 250m to the northwest and Longworth Hall 440m to the east of the site. The nearest residential dwellings are Longworth Mill located on the southwest corner of the site; Larport Farm located 350m from the south east corner of the site; and properties to the east of Clay Hill Pit road at distances around 450m from the site.

The application site covers an area of 46.15ha, and the proposed development will occupy an area of approximately 45ha. The proposal is to provide a solar farm with a capacity of up to 43MWp which will generate enough to power the equivalent of up to 11,108 homes. The proposed solar farm and battery storage will be connected to the electricity distribution network at the Dormington sub-station. The construction phase for the development is expected to last no longer than 6 months. The proposed development will be operational for 35 years after which the site will be fully decommissioned and restored.

NEWS | The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 36 additional cases of monkeypox in England

Thirty-six more cases of monkeypox identified by UKHSA

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 36 additional cases of monkeypox in England.

The latest cases bring the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since 7 May to 56.

The virus does not usually spread easily between people, but it can be passed on through close person-to-person contact or contact with items used by a person who has monkeypox, such as clothes, bedding or utensils. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks.

While the current outbreak is significant and concerning, the risk to the UK population remains low.

Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should immediately contact NHS 111 or their local sexual health service.

A notable proportion of cases detected have been in gay and bisexual men, so UKHSA continues to urge this community to be alert to monkeypox symptoms.

People should notify clinics ahead of their visit and can be assured their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said:

Alongside reports of further cases being identified in other countries globally, we continue to identify additional cases in the UK. Thank you to everyone who has come forward for testing already and supported our contact tracing efforts – you are helping us limit the spread of this infection in the UK.

Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service if they have any symptoms.

A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging these men to be alert to the symptoms.

UKHSA health protection teams are contacting people considered to be high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and are advising those who have been risk assessed and remain well to isolate at home for up to 21 days. In addition, UKHSA has purchased supplies of a safe smallpox vaccine (called Imvanex) and this is being offered to identified close contacts of someone diagnosed with monkeypox to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness.

We continue to engage with partners across the sector to ensure people are aware of the signs and symptoms and what action to take.

The vaccination of high-risk contacts of cases is underway. As of 10am on 23 May 2022, over 1,000 doses of Imvanex have been issued, or are in the process of being issued, to NHS Trusts. There remain over 3,500 doses of Imvanex in the UK.

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Friday 20 May 2022

Eleven more cases of monkeypox identified by UKHSA

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 11 additional cases of monkeypox in England.

The latest cases bring the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since 6 May to 20.

The infection can be passed on through close contact or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox.

However, the virus does not usually spread easily between people and the risk to the UK population remains low.

Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health service if they have concerns.

We continue to engage with partners across the sector at pace to deliver training webinars about monkeypox to clinicians to increase knowledge and awareness of this infection which is unusual in clinical settings in the UK. The first of these was hosted earlier this week by British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and was attended by over 900 people.

A notable proportion of early cases detected have been in gay and bisexual men and so UKHSA is urging this community in particular to be alert.

People should notify clinics ahead of their visit and can be assured their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Monkeypox is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox and most people recover within a few weeks.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said:

We anticipated that further cases would be detected through our active case finding with NHS services and heightened vigilance among healthcare professionals.

We expect this increase to continue in the coming days and for more cases to be identified in the wider community. Alongside this we are receiving reports of further cases being identified in other countries globally. 

We continue to rapidly investigate the source of these infections and raise awareness among healthcare professionals. We are contacting any identified close contacts of the cases to provide health information and advice.

Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact NHS 111 or a sexual health service if they have any concerns. 

Please contact clinics ahead of your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician.

A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging them to be alert to the symptoms and seek help if concerned.

Clinicians should be alert to any individual presenting with unusual rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice.

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages – it can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab which later falls off.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Two more cases of monkeypox identified by UKHSA

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 2 additional cases of monkeypox, one in London and one in the South East of England.

The latest cases bring the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since 6 May to 9, with recent cases predominantly in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM).

The 2 latest cases have no travel links to a country where monkeypox is endemic, so it is possible they acquired the infection through community transmission.

The virus spreads through close contact and UKHSAis advising individuals, particularly those who are gay, bisexual or MSM, to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a sexual health service if they have concerns.

Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, though it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It can also be passed on through other close contact with a person who has monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox.

The 2 new cases do not have known connections with previous confirmed cases announced on 16, 14 and 7 May.

UKHSA is working closely with the NHS and other stakeholders to urgently investigate where and how recent confirmed monkeypox cases were acquired, including how they may be linked to each other.

The virus does not usually spread easily between people. The risk to the UK population remains low.

Anyone with concerns that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to contact NHS 111 or a sexual health clinic. People should notify clinics ahead of their visit. We can assure them their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Monkeypox is a viral infection usually associated with travel to West Africa. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox and most people recover within a few weeks.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said:

These latest cases, together with reports of cases in countries across Europe, confirms our initial concerns that there could be spread of monkeypox within our communities.

UKHSA has quickly identified cases so far and we continue to rapidly investigate the source of these infections and raise awareness among healthcare professionals.

We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay if they have concerns. Please contact clinics ahead of your visit.

We are contacting any identified close contacts of the cases to provide health information and advice.

Clinicians should be alert to individuals presenting with rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice.

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages, and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

16 May 2022

Four more cases of monkeypox indentified by UKHSA

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 4 additional cases of monkeypox, 3 in London and one linked case in the North East of England.

The 4 new cases do not have known connections with the previous confirmed cases announced on 14 May and the case announced on 7 May.

Investigations are underway to establish links between the latest 4 cases, who all appear to have been infected in London. All 4 of these cases self-identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (MSM). 

Currently, common contacts have been identified for 2 of the 4 latest cases.  

There is no link to travel to a country where monkeypox is endemic, and exactly where and how they acquired their infections remains under urgent investigation, including whether they have further links to each other.

Those patients needing medical care are all in specialist infectious disease units at the Royal Free Hosptial, Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne and Guys’ and St Thomas’. The individuals have the West African clade of the virus, which is mild compared to the Central African clade.

These latest cases mean that there are currently 7 confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK, diagnosed between 6 and 15 May.

Due to the recent increase in cases and uncertainties around where some of these individuals acquired their infection, we are working closely with NHS partners to identify if there may have been more cases in recent weeks, as well as international partners to understand if similar rises have been seen in other countries.

Monkeypox is a viral infection usually associated with travel to West Africa. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, spread by very close contact with someone with monkeypox and most people recover within a few weeks.

The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the UK population is low. However, the most recent cases are in  gay, bisexual and other MSM communities, and as the virus spreads through close contact, we are advising these groups to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a sexual health service if they have concerns.

Anyone with concerns that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to make contact with clinics ahead of their visit. We can assure them their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser, UKHSA, said:

This is rare and unusual. UKHSA is rapidly investigating the source of these infections because the evidence suggests that there may be transmission of the monkeypox virus in the community, spread by close contact.

We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay.

We are contacting any potential close contacts of the cases to provide health information and advice.

Clinicians should be alert to individuals presenting with rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice.

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages, and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

14 May 2022

Two additional cases of monkeypox identified in London

Two individuals have been diagnosed with monkeypox in London, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed.

The cases live together in the same household. They are not linked to the previous confirmed case announced on 7 May. Where and how they acquired their infection remains under investigation.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some people.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person, however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

One of the cases is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. The other case is isolating and does not currently require hospital treatment.

As a precautionary measure, UKHSA experts are working closely with the individuals and NHS colleagues and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact to provide information and health advice.

People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity to the individuals are being contacted to ensure that, if they do become unwell, they can be treated quickly.

Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, said:

We have confirmed 2 new monkeypox cases in England that are not linked to the case announced on May 7. While investigations remain ongoing to determine the source of infection, it is important to emphasise it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with an infected symptomatic person. The overall risk to the general public remains very low.

We are contacting any potential close contacts of the case. We are also working with the NHS to reach any healthcare contacts who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice.

UKHSA and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.

Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

We are caring for a patient in our specialist high consequence infectious diseases unit at St Mary’s Hospital. All of the necessary infectious control procedures have been followed and we are working closely with UKHSA and NHS England.

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, particularly the hands and feet.

The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

7 May 2022

Monkeypox case confirmed in England

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) can confirm an individual has been diagnosed with monkeypox in England.

The patient has a recent travel history from Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

The patient is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London.

As a precautionary measure, UKHSA experts are working closely with NHS colleagues and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.

This includes contacting a number of passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK. People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity are being contacted to ensure that if they do become unwell they can be treated quickly. If passengers are not contacted then there is no action they should take.

Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, said:

It is important to emphasise that monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to contact the individuals who have had close contact with the case prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice.

UKHSA and the NHS have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.

Dr Nicholas Price, Director NHSE High Consequence Infection Diseases (airborne) Network and Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said:

The patient is being treated in our specialist isolation unit at St Thomas’ Hospital by expert clinical staff with strict infection prevention procedures. This is a good example of the way that the High Consequence Infectious Diseases national network and UKHSA work closely together in responding swiftly and effectively to these sporadic cases.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

BREAKING | Investigation launched after train hit digger and burst into flames overnight

Detectives from British Transport Police have launched a major investigation, following a train fire close to Craven Arms station, Shropshire, last night (22 May).

At just after 10.30pm yesterday evening (22 May), officers were called to a report of a fire on board a passenger train near Craven Arms station, along with emergency service colleagues.

Approximately 60 passengers were safely evacuated from the train, and the fire was quickly extinguished.

One passenger sustained a minor ankle injury which thankfully didn’t require hospital treatment. Thankfully, nobody else was injured.

It’s believed that a Transport for Wales train travelling at around 60mph hit a mini digger on the tracks, which caused fuel to leak from the train and a fire to start.

There was a second mini digger found on the embankment and enquiries throughout the night and this morning have led detectives to believe these had been stolen from a nearby rental yard and discarded.

Detectives from BTP’s Major, Serious, and Organised Crime Unit will be leading the investigation, and specialist officers remain at the scene conducting enquiries this afternoon.

Network Rail is working to recover the railway as quickly as possible but it’s unlikely services will resume on the line before the end of the day. Passengers are advised to check with Transport for Wales before they travel tomorrow.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn, from BTP’s Major, Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “While we are at early stage of our investigation, we are confident this fire was a result of the attempted theft of two mini diggers which then ended up on the tracks.

“Any obstruction to the railway is extremely dangerous and can easily result in serious injuries or fatalities, so we are taking this incident very seriously and working hard to hold those responsible to account.

“In this case, the collision with the mini digger resulted in a fuel leak which has then ignited. We are working closely with the Environment Agency to ensure the fuel is contained and any risk to the environment is minimised.”

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have information to get in touch with us as soon as possible by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 665 of 22/05/22.”

NEWS | Wye Valley NHS Trust announces major relaxation of visiting restrictions at hospitals in Herefordshire

Wye Valley NHS Trust is pleased to be able further ease visiting arrangements at its hospitals, which means that inpatients can now have two daily visits from a family member or friend from the first day of their hospital stay.

The visitor must be aged 16 or over and it can be a different visitor for each of these visits – patients no longer need to nominate a single visitor.  All visits must be arranged in advance with the nurse in charge so that social distancing can be maintained.

The new arrangements, which come into place today, Monday, May 23, apply to the general wards at Hereford County Hospital and the three community hospitals at Ross-on-Wye, Leominster and Bromyard.

Lucy Flanagan, Chief Nursing Officer at the Trust, said: “We know how important it is for patients to be able to have visits from loved ones and friends during their hospital stay, and we’re very pleased that patients can now have two daily visits.

“This does need to be booked with the nurse in charge first and visitors need to wear a surgical mask and maintain good hand hygiene. Patients will also be required to wear a surgical mask during the visit if clinically appropriate.

“Unfortunately, children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit, unless they are attending in a caring capacity. However, a parent with babes-in-arms (up to one year of age), who is visiting one of the areas below, in line with the visiting restrictions in place, will be supported to do so.

“It’s very important that anyone with a COVID positive test or showing symptoms of coronavirus, or if they feel unwell with another illness, must not visit our hospitals or wards, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others”.

The updated visiting arrangements at the Trust’s hospitals are:

LOCATIONRESTRICTIONS
Paediatrics – County HospitalA parent or carer can be present at all times. Both parents can visit, but not at the same time due to social distancing.  Siblings are not permitted other than in exceptional circumstances  
Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) – County HospitalParents can be present at all times.  Siblings are not permitted other than in exceptional circumstances  
Maternity – County Hospital 2 x support person can attend delivery suite throughout the stay 1 x support person can attend triage for labour assessment 1 x support person can attend for Induction of labour process (although restrictions may exist and booking slots may need to be agreed with midwife in charge) On the maternity ward: They should not attend if they have Covid symptoms. Support person can visit once per day (will be offered a morning or afternoon visit) during the period 9am to 9pm, this must be arranged with the midwife in charge as not all partners can be present at once due to social distancing measures.  
County Hospital:
Acute Medical Unit
Arrow Ward
Ashgrove
CCU Ward
Dinmore Ward
Garway Ward
Gilwern Ward
Frome Ward – surgical
Lugg Ward
Redbrook Ward
Orthopaedic unit
Teme Ward
Women’s Health Ward (located on Frome Ward 1st floor)
Wye Ward
Two daily visits are permitted for patients staying in hospital from the first day of their stay.  However, patients can only have a single visitor at any one time but this can be a different visitor for the two maximum visits per day. All visits must be booked by prior appointment with the nurse in charge. Visiting hours daily from 2pm-5pm and 7pm-8pm        
Intensive Care Unit The nurse in charge of the patient’s care will undertake a risk assessment and make a decision on a case by case basis  
Emergency DepartmentThere are no specific visiting times – patients in the Emergency Department can be escorted by one relative/carer while they receive treatment in the department  
Community hospitals     
LeominsterBromyardRoss-on-WyeTwo daily visits are permitted for patients staying in hospital from the first day of their stay. However, patients can only have a single visitor at any one time, but this can be a different visitor for the two maximum visits per day. All visits must be booked by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge
 Please note – children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit, unless they are attending in a caring capacity. However, a parent with babes-in-arms (up to 1 year of age), who is visiting one of the areas below, in line with the visiting restrictions in place, will be supported to do so.

NEWS | Emergency services called after car overturns on busy route in Herefordshire

Emergency services have been called after a car overturned on a busy route in Herefordshire this afternoon.

The incident has occurred on the A44 near Kington. Emergency services are on their way to the incident and motorists are advised to find an alternative route for the time being.

More soon.

NEWS | Herefordshire Council to provide free school meals for children during the May half term holidays

From Herefordshire Council:

May half term 2022 holidays

We are providing funding for a scheme that ensures over 3,900 children and young people in nurseries, schools and colleges will receive financial support during the May half term holidays.

This scheme aims to support vulnerable families who have been particularly affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the scheme, primary and secondary aged school pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals will receive a food voucher for the value of £15 or equivalent, for the May half term holidays directly through their schools.

Parents and carers of primary and secondary school aged children who already receive benefits related free school meals will be contacted by their school before the holidays.

If your child receives benefits related free school meals during term time but you haven’t been contacted before the May half term break, please get in touch with your child’s school directly.

Children who are eligible for the early years pupil premium and are not in a school setting, will receive a voucher posted direct from the council.

If you do not currently receive benefits related free school meals, but think that you might be eligible, please contact your child’s school, or check your eligibility and apply on the free school meals page.

NEWS | Overnight road closures and 50mph speed limits with M50 improvement works starting today

Ross-on-Wye Town Council has reminded local motorists to expect disruption with improvement works taking place on the M50 in Herefordshire / Gloucestershire.

A statement from Ross-on-Wye Town Council that was shared earlier today said:

Work starts today, Monday 23 May 2022, on the M50 junction 4 to junction 3, to replace sections of the safety barrier, install new boundary fencing and vegetation clearance at certain locations.

The work will continue until the beginning of July 2022. To complete work safely, National Highways will install a combination of full carriageway closures, lane closures, including the hard shoulder, and 50mph speed limits. The work will also include a combination of day time and night time working.

The M50 will be closed as follows;
Tuesday 24th June 2022, 8pm to 4am – Full closure of the M50 eastbound from junction 4 to junction 2.
Monday 4th July 2022, 9pm to 6am – Full closure of the M50 eastbound from junction 4 to junction 2.

Photo – Colin Malsingh

BREAKING | AVOID THE AREA – Major fire breaks out at Peacocks store in Monmouth

Police are advising people to avoid Monmouth Town Centre this morning after a major fire broke out at the Peacocks store on Monnow Street.

A spokesperson for Gwent Police said:

“Monmouth Emergency services are dealing with a fire on Monnow St in Monmouth. The road is currently closed – please avoid the area and use an alternate route. Take care of the roads today.”

Surrounding buildings have been evacuated and fire crews and the police remain on the scene.

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