Herefordshire Covid-19

As you may be aware the Herefordshire Council Talk Community Covid-19 response is providing a coordinated strategic support framework across Herefordshire to provide resilience in the community and voluntary sector and to support vulnerable people during this difficult time.

Herefordshire Council has sent a letter to every household (total of 88,000) focused on vulnerable people and the support they will need outside of their existing network.

We have also be reaching out to volunteers to provide support in the communities for the vulnerable people and linking into existing communities to scope the current networks, community leaders and voluntary activities. A central coordination centre with a dedicated telephone line for vulnerable people, volunteers and community organisations/leaders has been set up to assist with this service.

Herefordshire Councils Covid-19 support and advice webpage:

Talk Community Covid-19 Response Telephone Number: 01432 260027
Email address:

As part of the response the council has deployed council staff to every area to act as link workers.

The areas of support that will be coordinated are:
• Shopping
• Urgent supplies
• Picking up meds (DBS check needed)
• Pet walking
• Calling vulnerable people during this difficult time

Should you require more information or assistance, please contact


January Newsletter

Hampton Ward Newsletter

Many of you will have heard by now of the serious shortcomings of Herefordshire Council’s Children’s Services Department, in respect of two cases dealt with recently by the courts.

The cases relate in the first instance to two children who were made the subject of care orders back in 2008, but who were never placed for adoption. Mr Justice Keehan stated in his recent judgement that the care planning for both of these young people by Herefordshire Council has, over the past 10 years, been woeful.

The second case related to a pair of twins who were proposed to be adopted by different families. Mr Justice Keehan stated he was satisfied that the proposed adoption of the twins into two different homes was due to the incompetence and serial failings of Herefordshire Council and the egregious behaviour of some of its former staff.

A number of other issues were highlighted by the Judge and Herefordshire Council have taken them all on board. Some senior staff members have been replaced and the young people involved, along with their adopters, have been invited to meetings to find out what can be done to improve the Council’s services, from their perspective.

New weekly meetings of the Placement Panel have been scheduled to review individual child cases and these meetings will be chaired by a newly appointed Senior Social Worker. The legal team will also carry out a review of all children under placement orders and the Independent Reviewing Officers Service will ensure that care plans fully reflect an individual child’s current needs. Their other extremely important role is to challenge poor corporate parenting.

There are currently 326 ‘looked after’ children in the County and 117 with Child Protection Plans in place. Finally, over the past 5 years there have been 94 adoption orders granted for Herefordshire children. It’s comforting to note that no children were in danger of harm during this period and another High Court Judge has since commended the Council on the efforts being made to make the necessary changes to the systems.


Elected Members of the Council have been provided with briefings on these subjects and I attended one such meeting. As far as I’m concerned, the officers providing the briefing admitted to the Council’s failings and were extremely open and honest in their presentations and answered all our questions in a similar manner.

I’m now confident that our Children’s Services will vastly improve as a result of these recent court judgements, but an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council has been called for 10.00am on 18th January, to discuss these matters further.

Details of the meeting will be reported in the local paper and on the Council’s web site.Cllr Bruce Baker

Hampton Ward

07748 387331


Latest on Fastershire

Dear Cllr Baker,

Apologies for the delay in our response.

I’ve collated the rollout data for your ward and the coverage percentage are shown below. In total 91% of the premises in your ward have been enabled or are part of a Fastershire rollout contract to access faster broadband.

Residents should visit and use the address checker function to see if their property can already access faster broadband or where they sit in Fastershire’s plans.


Fastershire Strategy Delivery Stage Coverage %
Stage 1: Commercial delivery 26%
Stage 2: Fastershire’s contract with BT 49%
Stage 3: Fastershire’s contract with Gigaclear 14%
Stage 4: Fastershire’s contract with Airband 2%
Still requiring intervention 9%

The stage 3 rollout delivered by Gigaclear in your ward is currently ‘in build’ and will increase coverage to 89%. This rollout will provide access to an ultrafast fibre connection and speeds up to 1000mbps. The project is awaiting a latest deployment plan and we will publish this information as soon as possible.

Under stage 4, Fastershire has recently carried out an open procurement process to engage a network supplier to provide faster broadband to some of those properties who still require access. The project intends to award a delivery contract to Airband, who will provide broadband to 10 property clusters in Herefordshire, subject to BDUK approval. The detail of the rollout for each cluster area will be available via the Fastershire website address checker once all agreements are in place.


For those properties that still require access to faster broadband and are not part of a rollout contract, the project will be exploring a number of solutions. This could be through a contract extension with an existing supplier or a bespoke grant, but this will be subject to securing additional funding. Businesses can already apply for Fastershire business broadband grant, and for residents, those premises that currently access broadband download capacity below 2Mbps can still take advantage of the Better Broadband Scheme.

As I mentioned, all information is available for residents using the Fastershire address checker at





Mark Glover

Communications Officer

Fastershire Broadband Project