UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020
HCS could be criticised for beating the same old drum. Decisions please- decide on a VISION and get on with it. We’re now in the grips of another review – watch this space! Result? Ha Ha July 2020.
We’re determined to inspire our new administration to be creative and meet the undoubted challenges of the future for the benefit of everyone. The place we inhabit has a huge effect on all aspects of our well being.
MASTER PLAN FOR HEREFORD CITY
Hereford Civic Society is seeking your help to create a Development Master Plan for Hereford City. There seems to be widespread agreement that we need one but despite input from a wide variety of sources including Hereford Business Improvement District (BID); Vision 2020; Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); various lobby groups; the City Council and indeed ourselves at Hereford Civic Society, development still appears to be debated and decided on a project by project basis, rather than as an integral part of an overall strategic development master plan.
We want your input – this document is no more than a starting point showing some of our ideas. We want you to let us have your ideas, we want you to get out your felt tip pen and mark up the map, we want you to tell us how your city should develop over the next few years.
We have put together some ideas and comments to assist you; they are a collection of comments that have been made to us but don’t be limited by these lists. If you have a passion, then please share it with us.
Your proposals will be presented to the candidates standing for election in the 2019 local elections, the Hereford Times and the local business forums. We want the new Herefordshire Council administration and Hereford City Council to have a clear mandate to work with local enterprises to develop a City that we can all be proud of.
The HEREFORD we already enjoy…
Courtyard Arts Centre
Centrally located bus stands
Individual retail areas and independent shops
Lively night time economy
Museum, Library (with scope for huge improvement)
Skylon Enterprise Zone
Old Market Development
Castle Green and views out
Most of us would AGREE that…
Decent public realm is good for us all
Car transport is convenient and comfortable
Congestion is irritating
Exercise, walking and cycling are beneficial
Vehicles, especially diesel lorries, are polluting.
Parking is an irritant and difficult to access
The City will grow with private sector development
The Council will deliver less and outsource more
due to financial constraints
The HEREFORD we do not like…
New City Link Road
The abundance of small car parks
The signage and general clutter in High Town
Commercial Street’s empty shops and overall appearance
Disconnected cycle routes
Unpredictable traffic congestion
The lack of information from Herefordshire Council
Poor, albeit improving, consultation processes
Train services, especially to Birmingham, Bristol and London
The reductions to public bus services
Too many traffic lights
Some ideas we could implement…
Transport interchange at the station
Strategically located car parks on the periphery of the City
The integration of NMiTE within the City
Less or no traffic in the central core
Recognition of our City Wall and the re-creation of our historic gateways
Better train services to Birmingham, London and Bristol
A greener City
Better access to the river from Left Bank to Castle Green
More activities in the public realm – big screen; street cafes; entertainment etc.
Some ideas we can only wonder about…
Timing of arrival of autonomous and electric vehicles
Timing of the ban on use of private vehicles in cities
The whole effect of Artifical Intelligence
The success of NMiTE
The growing influence of social media
Changing style of education and training
The need for positive leisure time activities and opportunities
The increasing engagement of youth
Power and influence of major companies
The continuing reduction in public services
We are asking these questions encouraged by the fact that official reports are also questioning Hereford’s development.
In February 2018 - Local Government Peer Review reported “It is not completely clear where strategic thinking and strategic decision making happens (in Herefordshire Council)”.
In April 2018 - Historic England’s Urban Review Panel reported after 10 years and was not complimentary about progress on a number of fronts.
(Both these reports are summarised in PLACE Summer 2018 and on our web site –)
In May 2018 our own Upcycling Cycling event developed a manifesto - PLACE Summer 2018
This is a plan for plus 15 years - we must think beyond the immediate horizon…
We need to accept that technology is fast changing our very way of life - Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly influencing the way in which we live. Communication is now largely restricted to email and text messaging, not by the spoken word. How do we prepare our City when it is difficult to forecast the pattern of life in five, let alone fifteen years’ time?
1 Nationally and locally our high streets have declined at a rate that is far greater than was ever forecast. Our future plans must not only be realistic but adaptable.
We have an emerging university that that will deliver the engineers of the future. Given the success of that venture, alongside our already successful colleges, how do we cater for the young people who will choose our City for their education?
2 We want to attract businesses to our county that bring new jobs and enhanced wages. How do we integrate these new businesses, where will their employees live, who will provide the support services required, who will shape this plan that extends well beyond our own personal bubble? We have the bones we need to joint them together in a better way (public realm – Council’s responsibility) and provide opportunities for business to dress the body with attractive buildings (the private sector)
3 Changes in responsibility? Ten years or so ago many of the questions we ask would have been answered, developed, changed or perhaps ignored by the local authority. That is in the past – Herefordshire Council might well be financially solvent today but they are now confined, in the main, to the delivery of minimal levels of statutory services. It is likely that the City and Parish Councils will provide local services and support local social enterprises and charities that serve those less fortunate than others.
YOUR COMMENTS – A CALL TO ACTION
Now we are asking for your input, your suggestions as to what will make Hereford City the great place that we all know it should be, the great place we want it to be.
Let us have your comments, by letter or email to the addresses below. We would also like you views on our city centre sketch. Is this how you envisage our City? We would like to receive them by the end of this year in order that we can collate and publish the results in our Winter edition of PLACE in January 2019. These will stimulate our political candidates to make sure their plans are written down and discussed at our Hustings meeting on 13th April 2019 at the University Centre, Folly Lane, before the local elections in May.
For a list of Current Herefordshire County Councillors please click HERE
Local Political Parties
Hereford & South Herefordshire Conservatives firstname.lastname@example.org
Hereford & South Herefordshire Labour email@example.com
Herefordshire Liberal Democrats firstname.lastname@example.org
Herefordshire Green - South email@example.com
It’s Our County firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME IDEAS TO BE GETTING ON WITH
This plan needs to be valid for the next fifteen years. HCS believes political direction should decide to be bold and set the framework NOW. This list is not expensive to achieve, but this is needed ASAP to inspire investment by the private sector.
2019 –decide on the plan – the skeleton of our public realm
set up Urban room in the Town Hall – overseen by the Civic Society - a place for us all to chew over the ideas on each new site proposal.
2020 –refine our brand – university, food, countryside, enterprise zone etc
set up a big screen in High Town
establish riverside walk
complete station interchange
2021 – complete periphery carparks (private money)
2022 - ban all cars apart from residents and disabled, parked off road
2023 – 2034 – enjoy our contemporary City in it’s new guise.
HCS WISH LIST for INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Continuous pavements across junctions
Segregated routes for cyclists into the City
(see HCS Inspiration study by Witteeven and Bos)
Shared space within the centre
20 mph limit over entire HAP area.
Widemarsh Brook Walk
Morrison’s Walk (through their car park)
Station transport interchange
These improvements need not be especially expensive.
David Fowler - – 01981 541058
John Bothamley - - 01981 580002
Hereford Civic Society is a non-political organisation and will be making your points to all candidates.