Archive for February 9, 2012

Do you have an idea about how we can improve a service or a suggestion for saving money? If you do, please let us know! We don’t know the solution to every problem, but we are convinced that throughout the county, there is often someone who does. You never know how important your idea could be to helping shape the future of the County Council. Visit our new Public Suggestion Scheme page: .

1 )They could axe any job that has anything to do with climate change

2) Only print leaflets and mags in english

3) Do the County Council really need staff to teach people how to ride a bike

Pensioner taken to hospital after car driven wrong way along M42


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A PENSIONER has been taken to hospital after motorway police spotted a car travelling the wrong way along one of the region’s M42 this morning.

Eagle-eyed officers who monitor the cameras covering the central motorway network came across the car travelling dangerously into oncoming traffic on the M42 at 1.20am today, Thursday 9 February.

Calls from alarmed members of the public also started to flood in after the grey coloured Mitsubishi Colt was seen driving towards the M5, going the wrong way along the northbound carriageway.

Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group were at the scene within four minutes and starting to put a rolling road block in place around junction 5 to stop the vehicle.

The driver was stopped on the M5 near Droitwich a short time later, and the 80-year-old was transferred to hospital, for treatment in relation to an existing medical condition.

Chief Inspector Carl Flynn, from the Central Motorway Police Group, said: “Our officers acted quickly and decisively to try and stop the motorist from posing a further threat to other road users and himself.

“The nature of the man’s driving was of great cause for concern, and despite the road block the car was still driven erratically and dangerously in the wrong direction into stationary traffic.

“Our officers bravely intercepted the vehicle and spun the car so that it was then facing in the right direction. Unfortunately the vehicle then collided with a police officer, who was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“After making further enquiries it appears the elderly gentleman was unwell, and we will now investigate whether his condition played any part in these events.”

The man, who is from South Staffordshire, was detained and taken to hospital where he was kept in for observations.

Statement: River Cottage barn fire


A serious fire severely damaged the main barn at Park Farm, River Cottage HQ late last night in Axminster.
River Cottage events barn, before and after last night's fire

Thankfully no people, or animals were hurt.
The cause is as yet unknown.
The River Cottage team are shocked and upset, and are dealing with the damage today.
Hugh is away on a long distance filming trip and will be informed as soon as he can be contacted.
We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, who were on the scene quickly and worked hard to contain the fire.
Our Canteen and Deli, located in the centre of Axminster, is unaffected and remains open for business as usual.
Booked onto a course or event at River Cottage HQ?
River Cottage courses and events will not be running in the short term, but we’re very confident that we will be will be hosting events and courses as usual in next to no time.
The team are in positive mood, and we will be able to confirm our plans for alternative arrangements on site at River Cottage HQ by the end of tomorrow (Thursday 9 February).
Life will return to normal very quickly.
We will be updating our website, Facebook and Twitter pages with the very latest information as we have it.

Britain braced for further snow


Areas of the UK could be blanketed by up to 3in (8cm) of snow as the country continues to shiver in the Arctic freeze.

Treacherous conditions on the roads are also set to get worse with freezing rain battering some parts of Britain, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued an “amber” warning instructing people the north of England to be prepared for widespread ice, while “yellow” warnings for snow and ice are in place in a number of English, Welsh and Scottish regions.

It comes after three people died in sub-zero, icy conditions in the north of England this week.

Nick Prebble, forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “There will be a problem with freezing rain this morning which is going to start causing problems in southern Scotland and northern England. It will spread south east, and as it moves will turn into sleet and snow.”

The cold front will move to North Wales and Yorkshire, hitting the Midlands by the middle of the afternoon, he added.

Mr Prebble said: “From midday onwards, there will be snow falling, with between 4cm (1.6in) and 8cm (3in) possible. The areas worst affected are likely to be East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. There may well be snow flurries in London by the evening. It looks like it is going to settle in quite a wide area.”

More than 60 road accidents have been reported across Cumbria as police warned motorists to take care in hazardous conditions.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Constabulary said: “Rainfall overnight and into this morning has caused thick ice on the county’s roads. The A66 from Stainmore is closed due to the conditions and the M6 and A684 is currently extremely hazardous and only passable with extreme care.”

The latest blast of snow is expected to last into Friday before clearing by the weekend leaving cloud and drizzle. The south east of England is expected to see some sunshine. The sub-zero temperatures are set to improve slightly over the coming days, but the mercury will still struggling to get above 0C in many places overnight with a clear east/west divide.

AFTER years of hard work and international media attention over “controversial” plans, the Abbey Stadium will be officially reopened later this month.

The £6.5m refit of the stadium hit the headlines last year after it emerged Redditch Council was planning to heat the new pools using waste energy from the town’s crematorium.

Town hall chiefs wanted to use the heat generated by Redditch Crematorium, which is currently pumped into the atmosphere.

At the time a number of people objected to the plans.

One was Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, who at first called the plans “strange” and “eerie”

The plans were approved and once work is completed on the cremators, the council will be the first in the country to use a crematorium to heat a leisure centre in this way.

Leader of the council Carole Gandy said: “The cremators are still under construction but will hopefully be in place by May.

“Going back to when we first announced it there was some initial concern but I think that was about people not fully understanding what we wanted to do.

“Once it is up-and-running it will raise the profile of Redditch.”

Construction work began on the re-fit in October 2010 after the council signed a building contract with ISG to deliver a new pool and extension to the existing stadium.

The extension now house a 25m, six lane pool with tiered seating for 300 spectators, as well as a smaller training pool.

The existing sports centre has been modernised with a new entrance and reception area, dry side changing facilities and a state-of-the-art gym and dance studio.

Work has also been undertaken to refurbish the outdoor athletics track and additional car parking has been created.

Coun Gandy said: “I’ve been down there and I was very impressed. The feedback we’ve received from people who are already using the centre as well has been very positive.

“There are bound to be some teething problems, like with any new facility, but so far these have been few and far between.”

She added: ”There has been talk about this development for almost 15 years.

“When our group took control of the council, I said enough is enough and we are going to do something about it – and we have.

“I’m really looking forward to the official reopening, we have an amazing facility that we should all be proud of.”

At the moment the stadium is open but operating on reduced hours.

The formal reopening is set for February 20.