Parliamentary Constituency Boundary

Parliamentary Constituency Boundary

I write to inform you about the next stage of the 2018 Parliamentary Constituency Boundary Review. I can confirm that we intend to publish our Revised proposals for new constituency boundaries on Tuesday 17 October 2017. We will consult on these proposals for eight weeks, until 11 December 2017. This will be the last consultation during this review of constituencies, and the last chance to contribute your views to the Commission on the best pattern of constituencies to recommend to Parliament when we conclude our review next year, as we are statutorily obliged to do.

As when we consulted on our initial proposals last year, we rely heavily on local authorities to assist us in publicising the consultation, so we can engage with as many citizens as possible. We will be working with the Local Government Association and preparing a partner pack full of resources for you and your colleagues to use – I would very much appreciate it if you could help us in any way to spread the message that this is the last chance for people to have their say on our proposals. Unlike last year’s consultation, we will not be hosting public hearings across the country – there is no provision to allow this in our governing legislation. All the information people need to see our proposals and contribute to the review will be on our website, at, from 17 October 2017.

Boundary Commission for England

35 Great Smith Street | London | SW1P 3BQ

t: 020 7276 2124





Hampton Ward Newsletter August 2017

Hampton Ward Newsletter: August 2017

One of the most common complaints I receive revolve around the subject of planning and I’m sure most of my colleagues throughout the country receive similar complaints. No matter where you live, rich or poor, young or old; planning affects us all. The Council’s Core Strategy requires an additional 16,500 new dwellings to be built in the county between 2010 and 2031, so most of us will see new developments in our towns and villages. However, the main problems arise when plans submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) are poorly presented and fail to comply with policies contained in the Core Strategy.

If you’re considering making a planning application, it’s vital you use an accredited agent, or architect, to prepare the plans for you and they should ensure that all the necessary and relevant information is included. Most domestic planning applications can be determined within 3 months, but a large majority suffer delays when planning officers have to continually ask for addition details missing from the original reports, or for clarification of the details already submitted. Pre-application planning advice is available – at a small cost, and is highly recommended if the proposed plans are unusual, controversial, or may be contrary to local or national policy.

The stress suffered by local residents when a potential site has been identified close by, is huge and is seriously exacerbated when it’s clear the planning application has no merit. But once submitted, all applications must go through the lengthy planning process, which in some cases can take many months. Even when an application has been refused, the applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for a review of the decision, which all results in ever more stress to the local residents.

Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP) are now being prepared by many parishes in Herefordshire, which is a hugely time-consuming process for Parish Councillors, but fortunately financial and administrative help and support is provided by Herefordshire Council.

Once adopted these plans can help to ensure that inappropriate or unnecessary development within the parish is not permitted. The rules now state that when a local NDP has been approved and adopted, the planning authority (Herefordshire Council) must take full account of the parish’s recommendations.

On the other hand, the role of our town planners is not an easy one and most local authorities are usually short of trained planning and enforcement officers. We currently employ 20 planning officers and another 15 in technical support and with the LPA expecting a record 4,000 applications this year, the average number of ‘live’ planning applications being dealt with at any one time by our planning officers, is well in excess of 80, so if you have a planning application in the pipeline, you shouldn’t be surprised if you have trouble reaching your planning officer, so to avoid unnecessary delays, it’s vital your application contains all the necessary information, from the outset.

Some of the LPAs administrative problems are now being addressed and it’s hoped that the planning process can be streamlined and made more user friendly for our residents. This is now actively on-going and I’m confident that matters will improve, especially if we can attract more staff.

Maybe if you have children, or grandchildren, who are looking for an interesting and worthwhile degree course, you could suggest town planning as an option. At the very least they will be guaranteed a well- paid job, virtually anywhere in the country, following their successful graduation.

Cllr Bruce Baker

Hampton Ward

Herefordshire to welcome OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September

Press Release
24 July 2017

Herefordshire to welcome OVO Energy Tour of Britain this September

This September will see the world’s top professional cyclists racing through Herefordshire, as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain races through the county, taking in Ledbury, Dormington, Mordiford, Holme Lacy and St. Weonards.

Britain’s biggest professional cycling race will pass through Herefordshire on Sunday 10 September, as the final stage of the eight-day event heads from Worcester to the overall finish in Cardiff.

54-kilometres of the 180-kilometre stage will be in Herefordshire, a distance the professionals are expected to cover in around 75-minutes with the route marshalled using a rolling road closure, keeping disruption to a minimum.

The race will enter the county from Worcestershire after a challenging climb of the Malvern Hills, heading to Ledbury on the A449 before the A439/A438 in the direction of Hereford. The stage will skirt to the south of Hereford via Holme Lacy and then south on the A446 towards the Welsh border.

Ledbury will also be the location of one of three intermediate Eisberg Sprints on the stage route, where riders compete for bonus seconds and points towards the red Eisberg Sprint Jersey. The sprint will take place on the B4214/The Homend in Ledbury at around Midday.

Councillor Paul Rone, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads, said:
“Herefordshire Council is pleased to welcome the OVO Energy Tour of Britain to our beautiful county as the elite cyclists complete the 180-kilometre long final stage from Worcester to Cardiff. This is one of the biggest sporting events to come to the county, and we look forward to showcasing our stunning Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – that of the Malverns and the Wye Valley – as the tour passes through. There will be little to no inconvenience to the people of the county, and we would encourage everyone to support the event, especially the excitement of the Ledbury sprint.”

A series of rolling road closures will guide the Tour, which will feature 20-teams of six riders, along its entire length, with roads being closed around 15-to-20-minutes ahead of the peloton, and re-opening as soon as the final vehicles in the convoy have passed through.

Full details of the Stage Eight route, including detailed timings, can be found on the race website here

OVO Energy, the UK’s top rated independent energy supplier was announced as the title sponsor of the Tour of Britain at the end of April.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step, taking place between Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 September 2017.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors

Stage One Sunday 3 September Edinburgh to Kelso 188km
Stage Two Monday 4 September Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth 211km
Stage Three Tuesday 5 September Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe 172km
Stage Four Wednesday 6 September Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent 175km
Stage Five Thursday 7 September The Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial 16km
Stage Six Friday 8 September Newmarket to Aldeburgh 183km
Stage Seven Saturday 9 September Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham 186km
Stage Eight Sunday 10 September Worcester to Cardiff 180km

About the OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep. The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is the UK’s highest ranked professional stage race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event, organised annually by SweetSpot Group.

Ranked at the 2.HC level by the UCI, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain attracts the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners, to compete on British roads each September, with three-hours of live coverage a day on ITV4.

For further media information please visit

Hampton Ward Newsletter June 2017

Hampton Ward Newsletter June 2017

When I was elected to the Council in 2015, I was appointed to various committees and outside bodies, including the River Lugg Internal Drainage Board. I knew nothing about this organisation, or what they did. So, if you’re still with me here, please read on as you may find it interesting.

An Internal Drainage Board (IDB) is a local public authority that manages water levels. They are an integral part of managing flood risk and land drainage in England and Wales. They manage drainage districts in areas of special need which are determined by the local hydrology, not by political or county boundaries.

An IDBs’ primary role is to manage water levels and reduce the risk from flooding within their district. Much of the work involves the maintenance and improvement of watercourses and related infrastructure such as pumping stations, weirs, sluices, culverts and embankments.


Under the Land Drainage Act, the IDB exercises a general power of supervision over all matters relating to water level management with its district. Anyone who wishes to construct or alter a bridge, a weir a culvert or an embankment, must first obtain permission from the IDB, before undertaking any work.

IDBs’ also have a series of by-laws relating to the management of watercourses and can designate features and structures within the district that relate to a flood risk. This will prevent an owner of a structure from altering, removing or replacing the structure, without the consent of the IDB. They also advise the Local Planning Authority with regard to planning applications with the IDBs area and will advise and facilitate the drainage of new developments, to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future.

With over 50k farms within IDB districts in England, they are a key component of maintaining the security of the food supply in the UK and with some 600k people living or working within IDB boundaries, including 880k properties – domestic and commercial, they play a key role in reducing the flood risk to these communities.

The expenditure for the essential work carried out by IDBs’ is met via the drainage rates levied on agricultural land occupiers and by other special charges paid by district and unitary authorities on behalf of non-agricultural land occupiers within the district. IDBs’ can also seek funding for major capital works through a Flood Defence Grant from the Treasury or voluntary funds.

Further information can be found at the ADA’s web site:

Cllr Bruce Baker

Hampton Ward


Bruce Baker May Newsletter

Hampton Ward Newsletter May 2017

I receive regular complaints from residents regarding the cost of car parking nowadays and in order to address some of these concerns, Herefordshire Council has introduced a scheme to help reduce congestion and improve quality of life by promoting an increase in walking, cycling, bus travel and car sharing. The scheme is called: Park and Choose.This is a great scheme to help commuters cut down on travel costs and increase travel options, while also reducing the number of cars driving into Hereford and the other market towns at peak times.Car-sharing can be a challenge in a rural county where communities are smaller and more scattered. However, the vast majority of journeys converge on main roads heading either into our city or the market towns.Park and Choose allows commuters to meet up along main roads, at pubs, garden centres, hotels, or shops registered with the scheme, leave one car in the car park and car share for the rest of their journey. The same spaces are available for people who would like cycle to work but live too far away to ride the whole journey, and those who would prefer to park and complete their journey by bus.There are three sites where free parking for car sharing is available within this Ward or close by. England’s Gate pub in Bodenham, The Three Horseshoes in Little Cowarne and further south at Aylestone Park. There are secure lockers at Aylestone Park for cycle storage, which is an extremely popular facility.

For more information on car sharing and to find someone to share with at a location that suits you, go to and follow the links to Park and Share and complete your application for a parking space.

Still on the subject of cycling, free one-to-one cycle lessons are available for adults who live, work or study in Herefordshire. These lessons are carried out on roads to match the rider’s abilities and everyone from complete beginners, to experienced riders, are welcome.Cycling lessons and fun activities are also available for children, from 5 to 14 years, during half-term and school holidays. Full details of all these cycling activities can be found on:, or email:, help is available for young people to enable them to get to a job interview, a training course or to work, with free bus tickets or the free loan of a bike, including one-to-one training, safety equipment and route guidance.

I hope you find this information useful?



Cllr Bruce Baker

Hampton Ward


Bruce Baker April newsletter

Hampton Ward Newsletter April 2017

 Herefordshire’s a Great Place

Herefordshire Cultural Partnership (HCP) notched up another success this week with the announcement that the county will be one of only 16 pilot areas for the Great Place Scheme, jointly funded over three years by Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to put heritage, arts and culture at the heart of its communities. HCP’s project called Herefordshire’s a Great Place has been awarded £748,000.
Through an ambitious programme of events, activities, competitions, promotion and research, local communities will be able to work with artists, arts and heritage organisations to celebrate and promote the very things that make where they live special. Working closely with tourism, education, health and wellbeing sectors, Herefordshire’s a Great Place will demonstrate ways in which culture can play an integral role in the economic and community development of the county.
This major award is a huge boost to Herefordshire’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. It also comes hot on the heels of last week’s welcome news of government support for Hereford’s new university. Inspiring and developing the county’s arts and cultural infrastructure will be essential to attracting students, retaining more young people locally, and building the visitor economy.
Herefordshire’s a Great Place has been supported by Herefordshire Council, Elmley Foundation, EF Bulmer Benevolent Fund, the Becket Bulmer Fund, and Friends of Herefordshire Museums& Arts. Rural Media Charity will be leading the delivery of the Herefordshire’s a Great Place project on behalf of Herefordshire Cultural Partnership.

Roger Morgan, Chair, Herefordshire Cultural Partnership, said:
“It is wonderful news that HLF and ACE have recognised the potential of the Herefordshire Cultural Partnership to make a difference to the wellbeing of the people of Herefordshire and its economy. It demonstrates the power of the arts & heritage organisations working together with the county’s business groups and the local authority. This vote of confidence is a big boost to our bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.”

Cllr Tony Johnson, Leader, Herefordshire Council, said:
“It is an exciting time to live in Herefordshire. We are in a changing economic climate and Herefordshire Council has helped to unlock funding through the ‘Herefordshire is a Great Place’ bid. This project will help us identify opportunities for the community to adopt and manage assets such as sports pitches, parks and open spaces, while the council moves to focus on its key priorities. The project will help create a sustainable model of cultural enterprise, cultural tourism and retail, and develop a cultural brand strategy for Herefordshire.”

Nic Millington, Chief Executive, Rural Media Charity, said:
“This award is great news for Herefordshire communities and local culture. It is clear evidence that investment in culture by Herefordshire Council, local businesses and trusts, together with collaborative working is levering inward investment and creating exciting new opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages.”

Cllr Bruce Baker

Hampton Ward