Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
THE final design of this year’s £5 million refurbishment of Stratford Leisure Centre was approved yesterday (Monday).
A climbing turret for children near the entrance is the most eye-catching and popular addition, but a new unisex changing ‘village’ has been met with criticism.
Users pleaded with councillors yesterday to change their mind, but were left frustrated when the plans were – in their opinion – “bulldozed” through.
At the moment there are male and female changing rooms plus a family changing facility.
Despite their objections, the current male and female changing rooms will be removed in favour of one big unisex village with individual cubicles for privacy.
Stratford resident Neville Shannon got up and spoke at yesterday’s district council cabinet meeting.
He said: “It is unhealthy and isolates us from our lockers and outside clothes. Presently, we can move from locker to shower au natural.”
The council, which owns the leisure centre, asked for feedback on the plans over the Christmas period.
Because the majority of respondents (54%) objected to the unisex village, the council included a small section of single-sex group changing as well.
However, this is only one small room for women, and one for men, with no other facilities. People who get changed in there need to cover up before going back and forth to use the showers, lockers, or toilets.
Justin Kerridge is a councillor who opposes the unisex village. “It’s just so easy at the moment,” he said. “Why change it?”
Dai Gittins, another user, said people chat to each other in single-sex changing rooms.
“There’s a real sense of community,” he said. “To say it’s part of a social service is no exaggeration.”
Defending their decision, the council said the new village would be easier for staff to clean.
Lynda Organ, from the council, said the ongoing controversy over the unisex village should not detract away from the fact the majority of people are in favour of the overall scheme (52%).
“Shipston Leisure Centre was built nine years ago with a changing village and that has proved to be very popular,” she added.
Opened in 1974 with an expected life of 30 years, Stratford Leisure Centre is overdue a redesign.
Now the plans have been finalised the council need to find a contractor to do the work.
The pool is expected to be closed for 18 weeks later this year for the refurbishment.