TIME is running short for residents to respond to the Worcestershire County Council consultation on the proposal to axe the 675 Malvern-Ledbury bus service – the only one now serving our village.

The threat of the service disappearing has galvanised activity in West Malvern, with leaflets being handdistributed in parts of the village and various options to encourage the council to maintain our service being debated. These include modest increases in fares to reduce the subsidy requirement, and even waiving use of the pensioners’ free ‘bus pass’ travel as a better alternative to the loss of the service.

The slogan ‘use it or lose it’ could apply here, although the bus continues to be well used, with up to 20 people reportedly on board at the start of a journey from Malvern. This number obviously gets less as returning shoppers get home, but increases again as those visiting Ledbury join at Colwall and Wellington Heath.

To reply to the consultation, either visit the county council website at worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/ transport-andhighways/ transportreview.

aspx. If you are a non-computer user, paper copies should be available at Malvern library or on the buses themselves. The consultation, which is not confined to bus users, closes on Friday, January 17.

For many years, David and Sue Matthews have brought the festive season to an end with a Twelfth Night Party for friends and neighbours at their home near the Brewers Arms.

Last January there was no party, as the couple were in hospital recovering from a near-fatal road accident just before Christmas. Happily, both have made remarkable recoveries from their serious injuries and last weekend their traditional party was resumed.

A huge turnout of guests on a foul night of wind and rain was a tribute to the respect and affection in which they are held in the village.

They are pillars of the local community, among other things as key members of the West Malvern Players, while David has once again taken up his role as churchwarden and a regular lay preacher at St James’s Church. Welcome back!

COLIN JACKSON 01684 577604