Hardwicke Matters




Rare opportunity to see world-class Autoharp player

One of the world's leading autoharp and mountain dulcimer players, Karen Mueller, is to give an evening concert in Gloucestershire in July

Karen is no stranger to the county, having tutored at the

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bluegrass/oldtime residential weeks for the Sorefingers Summer School near Stow-on-the-Wold. She will be performing at Stonehouse Baptist Church, near Stroud, on Saturday 15th July.

Karen Mueller is one of the top autoharp and mountain dulcimer players performing today. Her exciting and inno-vative performing style, featuring Appalachian, Celtic and contemporary

The popular local group, Mischief Afoot, will provide a lively supporting act for the Stonehouse concert. Jeff Gillet, plays guitar, mandola,

mandolin, mountain dulcimer and concertina as well as being a singer/songwriter is joined by accomplished fiddle player, Becky Dellow and John Davis, a superb player of recorder and Bodhran.

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The evening concert is open to all. There is on-site parking, easy access and good facilities. There will be tea/coffee available for a modest donation in the evening during the interval, or concert goers can bring their own drinks.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and will end at approximately 10pm. Tickets are now on sale at just £10 each. Ring 01453 750513 to book or for further details. For more information about the performers, visit: www.karenmueller.com or www.mischiefafoot.co.uk

Gloucestershire Local News 

Arpil 2017

Can you get a badge you needd?

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The council want to know how it can make blue badges more accessible to those who need them.

At full council, it was agreed that local peo-ple and organisations will be asked about the issues they face applying for blue badges.

A motion proposed by Labour group leader Cllr Lesley Williams and seconded by Cllr Tracy Millard stated:


"The council recognises that regulations over who can and cannot get a blue badge are getting stricter. As a council we believe everyone who needs a blue badge should be able to get one.

"The council commits to review its blue badge policy criteria and will invite relevant community groups and interested partners to an open consultation over how we can make the service more accessible.

The council asks that a report is produced with options on how to achieve this by the end of 2017 which is in turn given to council to discuss."

Blue badges are available under a national scheme with guidelines set by the government. The badges are designed to help registered severely visually impaired people and those who are unable or virtually unable to walk to be independent. Being able to park close to the facilities and services is vital to wellbeing and freedom of choice.

Many people are automatically entitled to a blue badge, whilst others will need an assessment.

Cllr Lesley Williams, leader of the Labour group, said: "I am relieved to see that Council is taking action over this. For too long resident’s concerns have been muted on this important issue. Through this thorough and open engagement it is my hope that we can create a full and open system that means that residents who need help can get it. I was proud to lead the way on this matter."

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of the council (Con), said: "Blue badges are an important way of helping people stay independent. It is a national scheme, with criteria set by government that the council follows. However by listening to the issues local people face when applying for a blue badge, we have the opportunity to see if there is any way we can make it easier."

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, leader of the liberal democrat group, said: "I know from speaking to the many elderly constituents who I represent that they want a simple and open process for applying for Blue Badges. We need to make sure that anyone who needs a Blue Badge is able to get one easily and without hassle. Anything this Council can do to achieve that will be good news."


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April 2017


  Gloucestershire Constabulary has been alerted to recent incidents of telephone scams.  These scams follow a similar pattern where a householder receives a telephone call from someone tricking the householder into believing they are due for a payout, perhaps from their bank or a PPI refund.  They persuade people, using very clever and manipulative means, that in order to receive the money they are 'owed' they need to pay an upfront fee.  This can be in various forms including the purchase of Post Office postal orders that someone will come and collect, or the purchase of gift cards, including iTunes vouchers.

  A victim in Tetbury was persuaded to buy a £125 iTunes gift card on the promise of receiving a £2,500 PPI payment he was told he was owed.  After the card was purchased, the caller asked the victim to give the 16 digit code on the back of the card over the phone.  The victim realised he had been scammed when he continued to receive calls asking him to buy more iTunes vouchers.

  Officers are warning the public of these scams and offering the following advice:

Be suspicious of an unexpected phone call offering you a big pay out for an unknown reason – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Do not provide money or vouchers to any company you are not familiar with, even if they claim to pay you back.

  • If in doubt, take their details and tell them you’ll call them back. In the meantime, call police on 101 to seek advice.

  Your bank or any legitimate organisation will never call you asking you to buy postal orders or gift cards, or ask you for bank details or passport details. 

Please make your family, friends and neighbours aware of these scams, especially the elderly and vulnerable  Please look at our website for information on what to do if you think you are the victim of a scam.  iTunes also have a link on their website.


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 Aprill 2017

Cash boost for Cotswold Canals

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A thirty six mile long waterway linking England’s two great rivers, the Severn and the Thames, is in line for a £700,000 investment from the council.

The Cotswold Canals is two connected Gloucestershire waterways, the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal. The £700,000 over

four years from 2019/20 will help to link the restored section of the Stroud Water Canal to the national canal network and is part of a

proposed £19m Heritage Lottery Fund bid towards the project, led by Stroud District Council.


The Stroudwater Navigation as we see it today was built between 1775 and 1779, from Framilode, on the banks of the River Severn, to Wallbridge, Stroud.

Completed restoration work includes six miles of canal, upgraded towpaths for walker and cyclists, construction of eleven bridges and reinstatement of ten locks. The council investment will help unlock further funding to reinstate the canal between the A38 and Meadow Hill, a new public right of way, five new bridges, eight new or restored locks and the rerouting of an oil pipeline.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: "Our canals have huge potential to be used and enjoyed by our communities. Not only does the council have a responsibility as a local landowner, but also has a long and well established stewardship role in protecting the interests of the canal, its users and environment."

Cabinet will be asked to agree the investment on Wednesday 29th March. For further information on the canals please visit:



April 2017

Waste to landfill halves and recycling doubles as district’s residents embrace new recycling service

Just three months after the new food waste recycling service was rolled out to all 52,000 households in the district, residents are now sending just half the amount of rubbish to landfill that they used to and their recycling rate has nearly doubled. For the first time ever, the district’s residents are putting out more recycling than rubbish for landfill.  Whilst a full year of statistics won’t be available until later this year, the first three months have shown that the amount of rubbish sent to landfill has dropped to 114kg per person, per year – well beyond the target to reduce it to 228kg per person by 2020, set by the Gloucestershire County Council.

Councillor Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council’s environment committee said: “Our citizens really have embraced the new service. We always knew that the district’s residents were keen on recycling and reducing waste and even though we expected the figures to improve significantly, we never imagined that they would be this good, this soon. These figures are a tremendously pleasant surprise and a great endorsement of everyone’s commitment to recycling. Within the first couple of weeks of the new service starting, our hard working crews on the ground anecdotally reported that 90 per cent of homes were already putting their food waste out for collection. These figures back that up as we are collecting over 500 tonnes of food waste a month”.

The food waste is sent to an anaerobic digester where it is recycled into gas and fertiliser. The 503 tonnes collected from the district’s residents each month is enough to heat nearly 200 homes and provides around 450 tonnes of fertiliser for farming.  The amount of waste going to landfill each month has dropped from 2,153 tonnes to 1,074. This means that within the first three months of starting to recycle food waste, the district’s residents are already sending close to 50% less waste to landfill than other parts of Gloucestershire.  Paper, card and carton recycling in recycling boxes has gone up by nearly 10% and green wheelie-bins are now 6% fuller. The overall recycling rate has gone from 31% to just short of 60% and that’s without including garden waste recycling. Incorporating garden waste into the figures sends it to well over 60%.  At the same time the total amount of rubbish and recycling produced by households has dropped by 16%, with 7,835 tonnes collected over the three-month period of November 2016 to January 2017 from the district’s homes, compared to 9,343 tonnes a year earlier – a drop of 500 tonnes a month.

The extra reduction in waste to landfill is attributed to several factors including garden waste being collected separately, people being more careful about waste, and the new system of wheelie-bins and coloured bags for rubbish discouraging some business users from disposing of business waste in their household waste in black bin bags.

New providers to continue care across county


New care agencies across the county have stepped in to pick up home care that was previously provided by Cleeve Link.


Since the announcement that Cleeve Link would be going into liquidation, Gloucestershire County Council have been working hard to ensure that care continued to all vulnerable people, and that new providers were in place.

Care is being split across five different providers covering the following areas:

Gloucester and Stroud – Human Support Group

Cheltenham – Comfort Call

Forest of Dean – Radis

Cotswolds – Careful Care

Tewkesbury town and Marina Court – Live Well at Home

Wider Tewkesbury borough – Radis and Comfort Call


Cleeve Link staff who provide care that have continued to stay in their role and provide care are all being kept on by new providers. The council has made good any missed pay in the interim and ensured that the new providers will be able to pay all staff going forward.

Cllr Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for older people, said: “I would like to thank all the care staff who have worked through this difficult time and the people who receive care for their patience.”

“We were only made aware of Cleeve Link’s intentions at extremely short notice and had no indication that the new owner planned to liquidate the company.

“These new providers will make sure care continues for those most in need.”

The hotline will continue to operate whilst care providers take over. If you are concerned about a missed visit, please contact 01452 887689