The City Council has achieved the development of a tourist information centre within the Butter Market and is working in partnership with a group called Rural Concierge to deliver the TIC with the support from Hereford City Council. The TIC has been running for six months now and is going from strength to strength. Visitor numbers, where people are visiting from, other information/requirements those visitors would like to see in the future and more is all being collated to ensure the TIC moves in the right direction and provides an informative service and a positive experience.

In line with the City Council’s commitment to tourism within the City, The City Council has now moved the City’s silver and ancient City charters from the vault in the basement of the Town Hall to the Mayoress’s Parlour. All these ancient artefacts are now beautifully displayed in bespoke museum cabinets protecting these ancient relics for future generations which are now accessible for all to view. Guided tours of the heritage suite and the Town Hall are available on a limited basis at present as and when volunteers are available and additional bespoke plate visits can be booked to accommodate parties of 8 to 10 people at a time to suit you. Dependant on the success of additional grant funding it is hoped to embark on educational heritage events in the future.

There are many sculptures dotted around the City both historical and contemporary and the opportunity was identified to promote these sculptures, their history or the stories behind their installation. The City Council is in the process of developing a sculpture trail around the City, both a walking and a cycling route for both residents and visitors to the City to enjoy. The City Council is working in partnership with Garth Lawson, a famous writer of walks through Herefordshire and the Hereford College of Arts photography students to develop and produce a leaflet that will be available from the TIC and other outlets around the City.

The City Council is also working with the Hereford Skate Park, Trueland Construction and the Hereford College of Arts to install two plinths following the idea of the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. Trueland Construction have kindly donated their time and expertise alongside Cemex who have donated the concrete and Tudors the wood for the shuttering for the plinths. The one plinth will be available for local artists to display their art sculptures, the other for students from the Art College to showcase their work. A new sculpture being displayed every six months.

The City Council continues to support the Citizens Advice, Hereford in Bloom, Close House, CCTV, the seagull contract, Hereford Allotments and Leisure Gardeners Society, The River Carnival, the Courtyard and the Three Choirs festival for the different and important contributions they make to the life of the City.

The City Council continues to work with Herefordshire Council, the Civic Society, other Parish Councils, the BID, the New University and nature conservation groups on the development of a Hereford Area Plan.  This will enable development where it is appropriate but protect the City and enhance the conservation areas and hopefully open up derelict or under used former industrial or retail sites for development to reduce the loss of countryside as more houses are built in and around the city.  The need for surgeries, new schools and work to improve the drains and sewers before new housing developments overwhelm the existing provision will also be a key part of that plan.

The City Council has worked in partnership with Herefordshire Council to install a specialised disabled access swing on the Bishop’s Meadow play area so that children with disabilities of all ages can enjoy a safe and comfortable swing. It is also looking at other possible sites across the City where other such equipment could be installed to provide the same benefits.

The Hereford City Youth Council has an inspiring number of youth councillors who are involved with many projects across the City. The Youth Council have continued to work alongside and engage with other youth groups to ensure the voice of young people is heard. They now have two representatives sitting on and contributing to the Hereford Area Plan. This is a great breakthrough and shows how respected the youth council has become and how keen the unitary authority and other statutory organisations are to listen to the voice of young people who are the future of this City.

Following the success of last year’s youth conference and the feedback from that event the youth council aim to deliver an annual youth conference. This year it will be held on Saturday 27 October 2018. You can follow the Youth Council and all their activities on their Facebook page.

I feel I must mention and congratulate the Chairman of the Youth Council, Aaron Baldwin, on being nominated and approved to attend the Royal Wedding in recognition of the work of the youth council. WELL DONE AARON, I hope you enjoy the day.

In line with the City Council’s commitment to support its communities, the City Council has continued to award grants to enrich the City through the work of its volunteers and community groups and I want to thank every volunteer in this City for the time they give to make this City a better place to live, work, visit and play. You volunteers are the backbone of this City’s community, the people who put time and effort aside for the good of others.

The City Council continues with the delivery of the Community Road Show in its various forms, alongside a programme of community networking, support and training events for the City’s volunteers and groups.

The City Council is a key partner of the REACH OUT project which started in October last year its aims to bring all communities together and developing the support of businesses through their corporate social responsibilities for the City’s community groups, charities and organisations. Part of that project is REACH RADIO, the development of a new community radio station in Hereford which will be rolled out eventually across the whole of Herefordshire. This will become a one stop shop for all “community”. A large charities event is planned for 15 September 2018 in High Town promoting up to 48 different groups, organisations and charities and it is aimed to have an official LIVE launch of REACH RADIO at that event.

The City Council is continuing to look in to the possibility of taking back the ownership of the Town Hall. It is a building of great historical relevance to the City. The ground on which it is built was left to the City by the daughters of a former Town Clerk to build a municipal building. The City Council aim if successful with taking over the Town Hall, to develop it as a cultural hub and showcasing its fine architecture and ancient history.