WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Flats get demolished, ESG shops to open, potholes get worse

This week’s round-up of news from the fine county of Herefordshire and the world beyond.

New Broxash DriveStructurally sound residential buildings at Hereford’s Oval are being demolished to make way for new flats as part of a large-scale regeneration plan.

Work has already started on the development—a mix of 259 social and open-market properties—with Herefordshire Housing hoping to change the perception of the area and, as the Hereford Times put it, make The Oval a “gateway to the city that encourages people to stay in the area and use local businesses”. Like a ghetto yeah?

The designs for the new buildings look smart and modern but this is a very risky, and expensive, not to mention somewhat controversial attempt at social engineering.

Newton Farm is one of the most deprived areas in the county and also suffers from crime and drug abuse problems. And while demolishing and rebuilding blocks of flats may help improve its image to outsiders it will do little to elevate the area’s residents out of poverty.

Bringing in a better mix of social groups and a few licks of paint to the existing flats would do more, and cost a lot less, to help the problem.

 

Edgar Street Grid developers Stanhope have announced Thursday 17th April as the big day when eight stores will be opening their doors to the public for the first time.

And now the race is on: can Herefordians save up enough money in time to actually afford anything in Waitrose and Debenhams!

 

Balfour Beatty is struggling to keep up with Herefordshire’s pothole problem. And despite £20m investment it is only enough for them to focus on C and unclassified roads, meaning the county’s main highways could be in a sorry state for some time to come.

How many more cars need to be damaged or accidents caused to see a comprehensive road maintenance programme carried out across Herefordshire? How long until lives are lost?

 

Hats off to demonstrators in Worcester who hit the streets to protest against Atos, the firm responsible for carrying out government ‘fitness to work’ tests on disability benefit claimants.

Atos also have an office in Hereford, which can be found next to the Taste of Raj in St Owen Street.

 

Anarchists often nick a Who lyric at election time to describe the non-existent difference between the outgoing politician and their successor: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Unfortunately for the people of Abergavenny, the new boss really is the same as the old boss as Cllr Martin Hickman has been selected for his second stint as the town’s mayor.

Martin first trod his subject’s faces into the mud in 2007 and then, like now, they didn’t get a choice in selecting who became mayor: other councillors decide that for them.

And that’s how democracy works.

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