Parish of “Stoke Bliss, Kyre and Bockleton” – Stoke Bliss Ward


that a casual vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council following the resignation on 10th May of Councillor Brian Farmer

If by 27th May 2022) a request for an election to fill said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at the address below by TEN electors for the said Parish of Stoke Bliss an election will be held to fill the said vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

If an election is called, it will take place not later than 03/08/2022

Dated: 10th May 2022

Clerk to the Parish Council:

Carole Hirst




Returning Officer:

Andy Baldwin

The Council House

Avenue Road


WR14 3AF


Malvern Hills District Council – February Roundup.

vics roundup

Support for energy prices – the council tax rebate

Yesterday (3 February), the Government announced measures to help protect millions of households from rising energy costs.

This includes a £150 council tax energy rebate. Detailed guidance and funding allocations will be published in the week beginning 7 February.

The Government will provide funding for billing authorities to give all households in England whose primary residence is valued in council tax bands A – D a one-off council tax energy rebate payment of £150. This payment will operate outside of the council tax system, using council tax lists to identify eligible households. Read more about the council tax rebate.

Levelling Up White Paper

The Government has published its long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper.

This sets out the plan for reversing the UK’s geographic inequalities and improving the country by:

  • Unleashing the full potential of the private sector, boosting pay, productivity, innovation and economic growth
  • Improving public services, including giving everyone access to higher quality schools and training, improving people’s health, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and increasing the supply and standard of housing
  • Regenerating town centres and high streets, tackling crime and anti-social behaviour to make streets safer, and ensuring everyone has access to culture

The White Paper contains 12 national missions – all quantifiable and to be achieved by 2030 – which will be given status in law in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, including:

  • A new devolution framework which sets out a clear menu of options for places in England that wish to unlock the benefits of devolution. By 2030, every part of England that wishes to have a ‘London-style’ devolution deal will have one.
  • A transformation of the government’s approach to data and evaluation, with a new independent body created to improve transparency of local government performance.
  • A commitment to simplify the local growth funding landscape.
  • The intention to mobilise £16 billion of the Local Government Pension Scheme for investments in local projects.
  • The £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be decentralised to local leaders as far as possible.
  • Councils will be given the power to require landlords of empty shops to fill them if they have been left vacant for too long.
  • 68 more councils to be supported by the High Streets Task Force.
  • All homes in the Private Rented Sector will have to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard.
  • 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs) will be designated where school outcomes are currently weakest and will benefit from intensive investment and support.


The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, has written to all councils in the UK with details of the White Paper. See the attached document.

Youth investment fund

One of the announcements alongside the Levelling Up White Paper was the creation of a Youth Investment Fund.

Youth services across 45 Local Authorities, and around 600 district wards in the most deprived parts of England, will be eligible to apply for the £378 million Youth Investment Fund.

I am pleased to report that Pickersleigh is one of the ward areas chosen.

The first phase of funding is open for applications now and charities, voluntary sector organisations, schools, uniformed groups and sports clubs providing activities in the Droitwich West area can apply.

Read the Youth Investment fund announcement.

Find out how to apply for money from the Youth Investment Fund.

Lower Pond Works

Work is set to start next week on cleaning out and enhancing the lower pond in Priory Park.

As part of preparations this week, the surrounding trees are being pruned and draining of the pond started. Specialists will remove the fish safely.

To assist with the works, the Council House car park on Avenue Road will be closed on Monday to Thursdays between 7 February and 29 April.

The footpaths by the lower pond in the park will also be closed between 7 February and 29 April. Visitors are being asked to follow the signs.

The works follow recent desilting and repair of the upper pond, which has reinstated water flow into the lower pond however, more significant works are required to the lower pond to improve water quality and biodiversity.

Desilting will enable the pond to start capturing carbon again and provide the right environment for plants to grow.

In addition to desilting, the project also includes:

  • Specialist fish removal prior to draining.
  • Installation of gabion baskets to create planting shelves.
  • Wetland planting to create habitat for aquatic invertebrates and insects.
  • Tree works to reduce overshading and leaf litter accumulation.
  • Installation of wildlife features including kingfisher perch and habitat log piles.
  • Non-native shrub thinning or removal and re-planting with native.
  • Shrubs and woodland bulb planting.

Works on the lower pond will run until April 2022.

Visit to keep up to date with the improvements to Priory Park.

Youth Chair Fund

Young people can now apply for up to £500 to fund projects that will benefit communities within the Malvern Hills district.

Our Youth Chair Fund will fund upcoming projects designed by the district’s young people aged between 11 to 17, the deadline to apply is 4 March 2022.

The fund will help support a wide range of ventures such as short-term projects, celebrations, trips, and equipment.

Local projects that have already gained from the fund include Tenbury High Ormiston Academy’s Time to Talk cabin, which provides a safe space for students to talk about and seek support with their mental health and wellbeing.

Perfect Circle Youth Theatre group also created a short film based on their ideas and projects, teaching them how to film and edit, and Upton Young Farmers received funding to support a new member’s day to encourage new people to join.

This is a great opportunity for young people, please pass on to your local community groups and mailing lists.

Visit for more information.

Malvern Hills businesses could benefit from £2,000 upskilling grants

Local businesses could receive up to £2,000 towards the cost of taking on a new apprentice or trainee thanks to a new Upskilling Grant.

Malvern Hills District Council has introduced the grant as part of the Upskilling Project, which is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The £283,000 project involves a range of activities designed to boost skills, help businesses grow and support people into work.

Businesses in any sector can apply for up to two upskilling grants, as long as the trainees started after 1 April 2021 and before 31 March 2022.

To qualify, businesses need to be based in the Malvern Hills district postcode area and employ fewer than 250 people.

They must pay at least the minimum wage to the trainee for a post of at least 20 hours a week, including training, over a minimum of three months. They must also provide for the trainee to gain a recognised qualification.

Grants are paid on a first come first served basis and will only last for as long as the funding does. Businesses are urged to apply early, so they don’t miss out.

Grants are paid after the apprentice or trainee has completed three months of their course.

Businesses can find out more about the grant, and how to apply, by visiting

Malvern Hills offers £500 incentive to new apprentices and trainees

Payments of £500 are on offer to anyone starting an apprenticeship or training course as part of a new incentive scheme.

The ‘golden hello’ has been introduced by Malvern Hills District Council to encourage the take up of apprenticeships and trainee programmes, which help many people take their first steps in the world of work or embark on new careers.

This incentive forms part of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project, which has been given £283,000 from the UK Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund.

New apprentices or trainees of any age are eligible to receive the one-off £500 payment if they meet the criteria.

To qualify, they must live or work in the Malvern Hills area, earn less than £15,000 a year, complete the first three months of their courses and claim the payment themselves.

Support payments of up to £1,000 are also available to help apprentices and trainees cover the cost of travel, equipment, clothing and other associated expenses.

Applications for this scheme must be made by 31 March 2022. Other funding schemes to help with training costs will still be available after this date.

People can apply for the payment, and find more details, including full terms and conditions, online at


Worcestershire Household Support Fund

Worcestershire Household Support Fund

Following a recent government announcement, a new Household Support Fund has been made available to those most in need this winter and through until the end of March 2022.

£3.9million has been allocated to support people in need in Worcestershire and will help support those who may struggle with their bills this winter.

Up to 50% of the funding must be ringfenced to support families with children under 19.

In Worcestershire, support provided countywide is:

  • Food vouchers for those in receipt of free school meals which will be managed through the schools.
  • Support with energy bills and essentials linked to energy will be provided through Act on Energy for those residents meeting certain criteria. The online application form for support is now live on the website WORCESTERSHIRE HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND – Act On Energy

In addition, local district councils have also set up a range of provision to provide support to vulnerable residents.

There is a dedicated webpage which summarises the support available Household Support Fund | Worcestershire Winters Well | Worcestershire County Council.

Below are the relevant contact details to signpost to about the support available in the districts.

District Organisation Contact
Bromsgrove Citizens Advice Redditch and Bromsgrove; 01527 881288;
0808 278 7890
Redditch Citizens Advice Redditch and Bromsgrove; 01527 64252;
0808 278 7890
Malvern Citizens Advice South Worcestershire; 0808 278 7891;

01684 563611

Worcester City Worcester City Council Coronavirus – Worcester City Council

01905 722233

Wyre Forest Wyre Forest District Council Household support fund | Wyre Forest District Council (

01562 732928

Wychavon Worcestershire County Council – Here2Help Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – Wychavon District Council

Here2Help Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Worcestershire County Council

01905 768053 then press option 3.


MHDC News Round-Up January 22

Have your say on a new political map for Malvern Hills District Council

New boundaries are being proposed for council wards in Malvern Hills District Council.

The Local Government Boundary Commission wants to hear what residents and local organisations think about the proposals. A 10-week week consultation on the proposals will run until 21 March 2022.

The Commission is the independent body that draws these boundaries. It is reviewing Malvern Hills to make sure councillors will represent about the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements will help the council work effectively.

It is proposed there should be 31 councillors, with 13 single-councillor wards, six two-councillor wards, and two three-councillor wards.

Proposed changes include:

  • Significantly altered wards for Malvern to unite key centres within the town
  • New wards in the north east of the district based on responses from parishes and councillors

How can I comment on the proposals?

To have your say all you need to do is tell the Local Government Boundary Commission what you think of the proposals and your reasons why. You are also welcome to put forward alternative proposals.

Have your say on the new Boundary Review proposals.

You can also:

Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament on COVID-19 and the Omicron variant

On Wednesday 19 January The Prime Minister gave a statement to Parliament on the progress against the Omicron variant and the review of the Plan B measures.

In his statement, he said the latest Office for National Statistics data show clearly that infection levels are falling in England and that scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally.

He added that hospital admissions have now stabilised, with admissions in London even falling, and that numbers in intensive care are also falling.

As a result, the Prime Minister announced that the country can return to Plan A in England and allow Plan B regulations to expire. From 27 January, mandatory certification will end although organisations can choose to use the NHS Covid Pass voluntarily.

He also confirmed that the government is no longer asking people to work from home and that once regulations lapse, the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere.

He added that from 20 January, the government will no longer require face masks in classrooms, and that the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas from 27 January.

He also announced that the government will also ease further restrictions on visits to care homes and will set out plans in the coming days.

He concluded by explaining that the self-isolation regulations will expire on 24 March and that he would not expect to renew them and could even bring that date forwards if the data allowed it. In advance of that, the government will set out their long-term strategy for living with COVID-19. Visit the Gov website to read the full statement.

Using your NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad and at venues in England

On Tuesday 18 January, the Department of Health and Social Care updated the guidance on how to use the NHS COVID Pass to demonstrate COVID-19 status when travelling abroad and domestically at venues and settings in England.

The update includes a video about the NHS COVID Pass letter for domestic use in British Sign Language (BSL). Visit the Gov website for guidance.

Omicron business support funding

The Government has announced new funding to support businesses affected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

This support includes:

  • One-off grants of up to £6,000 for qualifying businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
  • New Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding for other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors. It will be up to our discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need but as with previous ARG funding allocations, it is unlikely to be enough to support all businesses affected.

We have yet to receive detailed guidance from the Government about how these two support funds are to be administered or what our allocation of the money available will be.

Once we have this information, it is likely there will have to be an application process. We hope to be able to make a further announcement about this early in January. We will keep this page updated or sign up for our business e-newsletter.

Businesses could win £1,000 by taking part in skills survey

Businesses are being encouraged to take part in a survey to find out what their skills and training needs are.

The survey is being run by Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils with telemarketing agency, Team Telemarketing, and will end on 31 January 2022.

They will be contacted via phone call to take part in the survey but it can also be done online. All entrants will be entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 cash prize.

The results will help guide the councils in providing targeted support to businesses including future subsidised courses to meet their needs, help with recruitment and to fill the skills gap.

The survey is being run as part of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project which has received funding of £283,050 from the UK Government Renewal Fund.

Read more about the survey and how to take part.

Commonwealth Games baton-bearers

The excitement is building for this year’s Commonwealth Games, taking place in Birmingham from 28 July to 8 August, and bringing an economic boost to the whole of the West Midlands.

The anticipation has stepped up a gear this week with the opening of nominations for baton-bearers for the Queen’s Baton Relay in England.

The 294-day relay is already under way, with the baton – containing a message to the Commonwealth from Her Majesty The Queen – set to visit every corner of the Commonwealth.

The relay arrives in England in early July and thousands of people will then carry the baton around the UK during the final 25-day leg before the games begin in Birmingham.

This is your chance to nominate someone who you’d like to see carry the baton as part of the relay. The Birmingham 2022 organisers are looking for individuals who:

  • are always willing to take on a challenge and has a unique and inspiring story;
  • has made a meaningful contribution to sport, education, the arts, culture, or charity;
  • is a figure of inspiration who positively challenges others to achieve their best;
  • has taken on a challenge or cause and made a positive impact within their community.

You can make a nomination here. The deadline is 14 February 2022.

Keep Britain Tidy award

Our Community and Environmental Protection Team have been shortlisted for one of Keep Britain Tidy’s national awards.

The award is within the Community Engagement category for efforts on environmental improvements for local residents.

Improvements by our team include Adopt-a-Street Scheme, Community Litterpicks, Green Dog Walkers Project, Schools Eco Sessions and more.

The Keep Britain Tidy Awards will be presented at the charity’s annual Network Conference at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole hotel on Thursday 10 February 2022.

The awards recognise and celebrate local authorities that are committed to making significant improvements to the environment on people’s doorsteps, from community engagement work to waste enforcement work.

There are ten award categories altogether, each with three shortlisted contenders, we are in the running alongside The City of Westminster and Manchester City Council. We will keep you posted on the results.

Valentine’s Breaks

The Malverns is being promoted as a Valentine’s Break destination with a dedicated Valentine’s Breaks blog story via Visit The Malverns social media channels.

Other promotions include romantic walks, romantic meals, and jewellers. Various media enquiries have also been responded to which will hopefully generate some national newspaper coverage. The campaign also promotes ‘Fall in love with our Town Centres’ as part of town centre recovery to encourage footfall. Read more on the Valentine’s webpage on the Visit the Malverns website.

Upton upon Severn Easter Trail

Plans are beginning to take shape for Upton Tourist Information Centre as they prepare to host a new town centre trail after the success of the Pumpkin Trail in October.

The new Easter trail will encourage visitors to tour the shops whilst solving riddles to find the golden egg. More information coming soon.

Priory Park lower pond plans

The lower pond in Priory Park will be cleaned and enhanced for the first time in over 30 years.

The works, which will see the pond desilted and repaired, will form part of the council’s Five Year Plan to improve the play area and biodiversity enhancements in the popular Great Malvern park.

Following the recent desilting and repair of the upper pond in Priory Park, which has reinstated water flow into the lower pond further, more significant works are required to the lower pond to improve water quality and biodiversity.Desilting will enable the pond to start capturing carbon again and provide the right environment for plants to grow.

The project will take place early in 2022, to avoid key amphibian and bird breeding seasons and to ensure the least environmental impact to the wider park. Read more about this on the Priory Park webpage.

Businesses could win £1,000 by taking part in skills survey

picture wccMHDC LOGO

Businesses could win £1,000 by taking part in skills survey


Businesses are being encouraged to take part in a survey to find out what their skills and training needs are.

The survey is being run by Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils with telemarketing agency, Team Telemarketing, and will end on 31 January 2022.

Businesses will be contacted via phone call to take part in the survey but it can also be done online. All entrants will be entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 cash prize.

The results will help guide the councils in providing targeted support to businesses including future subsidised courses to meet their needs, help with recruitment and to fill the skills gap.

The survey is being run as part of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Upskilling Project which has received funding of £283,050 from the UK Government Renewal Fund.

The project is being run by Malvern Hills District and Wychavon District Councils, with Worcestershire County Council acting as the lead authority for the programme.

Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Tourism on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “This survey is an important part of our continued commitment to addressing the skills gap within the Malvern Hills District and helping businesses to thrive. It is a great opportunity for businesses to tell us what they need in terms of recruitment, providing training for staff and more.”

Cllr Richard Morris, Executive Board Member for Economic Growth and Tourism on Wychavon District Council, said: “We need to support the changing needs of businesses to help people stay and get into work, as well as growing a successful economy. We will be able to use the findings of the survey to provide much-needed, targeted support.”

The survey will take between three to 15 minutes to complete depending on the business.

Visit to take part in the survey if you are a Malvern Hills District based business.

Visit to take part in the survey if you are a Wychavon based business.

The Here2Help Community Services Directory


The Here2Help Community Services Directory

In September 2021, Here2Help launched its Community Services Directory as part of its wider service to help residents search for a range of services and support offered by charities, community groups, businesses, public sector groups and other organisations in their local area and across the whole of Worcestershire.

These services include mental health and wellbeing, financial advice, assistance and supplies, volunteering opportunities, recreation activities and much more.

Since its launch in September, over 275 organisations have signed up to offer support and services to Worcestershire residents.

The Here2Help team have also been out visiting various libraries in the County to talk to residents about the Here2Help Service and the Community Services Directory.

Do you know any local organisations that may be interested in registering their service on the Here2Help Community Services Directory ?

More information can be found by visiting

Vacancy for Contract Services Provider- PARISH LENGTHSMAN


Vacancy for Contract Services Provider


Stoke Bliss, Kyre and Bockleton Parish Council are seeking to appoint a Lengthsman (preferably qualified) for 2022/23.

Deadline for applications 12 Noon 31/12/2021


The Parish Lengthsman is a self-employed person who can really make a difference to the community environment by maintaining roadside verges and drainage. The work may be expanded to include other small-scale maintenance work.  Appropriate basic training on the hazards of working in the highway and standards of work to be achieved will be provided.

This contract for services is for one year only but may be extended, commencing on April 1st 2022.

Lengthsman duties include:


  • Clear gully grates.
  • Clear verge grips.
  • Clear headwalls, outfalls.
  • Rod blocked drains if practical.
  • Advise landowners and frontagers when their ditches need cleaning.
  • In especially difficult circumstances clear ditches – with prior agreement of the Council.

Vegetation Clearance:

  • Remove vegetation obstructing signs.
  • Remove vegetation at junction visibility splays.
  • Removal of basal tree growth from highway trees.
  • Pulling / cutting of noxious weeds following site specific approval from the Council.
  • Side out footways to normal width and spread arisings on verge where possible.
  • Negotiate with frontagers for them to cut back overhanging vegetation.


  • Rotation and charging of mobile Vehicular Activated Signs (VAS) following site specific approval and authorisation from the Council.
  • Clean dirty signs and/or retighten brackets, reposition signs which have been knocked out of place where no excavation is required (except illuminated signs).
  • Painting of heritage cast iron direction signs.
  • Snow clearance and gritting / salting by hand.
  • Removal of illegal fly posting.
  • Maintenance and repainting of highways approved visibility fencing.
  • Cleaning of subways.

The Lengthsman will be required to travel around the parish at short notice.

For an application form contact The Clerk at You will need to give 2 references, one of which must be an existing employer.


NOTICE OF THE CLOSURE OF C1052 BOCKLETON, commencing 1st July for 1 day.









Reason for restriction: Carriageway PatchingThere is a need to close the highway in the following terms:-


  1. The effect of this Notice is that no vehicle shall proceed along that part of the highway from its junction with U94205 Bockleton to its junction with Herefordshire County Boundary.


  1. This provision shall continue in force for a maximum of 5 days, however, it is anticipated that it will remain in force for 1 day commencing 1 July 2021.


  1. Alternative routes: – A4112 (Herefordshire County,) A4112 Oldwood Road, A4112 Oldwood Common, C2088 Bockleton Road, C2088 Bockleton, C1052 Bockleton and vice versa.

Following the sad passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a Book of Condolence for Worcestershire has opened online.

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The Book of Condolence is open for residents to pay their respects and show their love and support for the Royal Family.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, traditional physical books of condolences are not being made available for people to record their messages.

As an alternative, you can leave your message by following the below link. Your message will be shown on an online book of condolence and it is anticipated that the content of the online book of condolences will eventually be retained as part of the historical records at the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service.

Here is the link to the Online Book of Condolence

If you are unable to leave a message via the online book of condolence or are unable to ask a relative or friend to complete on your behalf, please call 01905 765765 select option 9 and a member of staff can complete the online form on your behalf.

Opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

The Book of Condolence will close at 8am  on Sunday (18 April)

Condolences on death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council wish to extend deepest condolences to Her Majesty, The Queen, on the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

We recognise with grateful thanks the life a man who was a shining example of what it means to put others before self. The loss to our country is very great and we hope to mirror in some small way, by public service, that sense of duty which is so important in upholding all the values embodied in the role of service which Prince Philip unstintingly performed throughout his life.

Our thoughts and prayers are offered for Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this sad time.


Councillor Burgess Adams (Chair of Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council) on behalf of Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council.