Local news in brief

Herefordshire families are faced with ‘unrealistic and unaffordable’ rent costs, a new report has revealed. The report, recently conducted by housing charity Shelter, names the county as the most expensive area to privately rent in the whole West Midlands region. Private tenants spend an average of 40% of their earnings on rent, with the area’s low wages and high transport costs exacerbating the problem. Local housing charities have said they have been inundated with requests for help, with many families and young people struggling with housing and rent issues. Shelter has made calls to the government to stabilise the rental market and to develop policies to bring rents more in line with average earnings. As the government pushes ahead with cuts that will affect local housing services, and squatting rights are crushed, we don’t have very much confidence in them dealing with the situation. We have to act for ourselves and fight for change.

Police have called for a popular Hereford restaurant to lose its license for employing ‘illegal’ workers. The Jalsagor on St. Owens Street has been raided by West Mercia Police and UK Border Agency officials twice this year, once in April, and again in July. They were fined £30,000 and 6 Bangladeshi men were arrested. Two of the men have applied for asylum status and four are currently detained, awaiting deportation. On Tuesday, Herefordshire Council’s regulatory subcommittee held a review into Jalsagor’s premises license. Police representative, Jim Mooney, asked for the alcohol and latenight refreshment license to be revoked. Revoking the license is sure to be an unpopular move in this very popular city restaurant. Four men who were working locally are now incarcerated and awaiting deportation, along with two others who face possible deportation. We believe nobody is illegal.

Big changes are coming for Hereford Heckler. The Heckler is changing to a mainly web-based format, with a new website and online shop coming very soon. We’ll be broadening our content, with more regular updates and more contributions from others. If you have anything you would like us to consider for inclusion, email it over to kay.bulstreet@hotmail.co.uk.

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