THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
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.
STRATFORD-upon-Avon's MP, Nadhim Zahawi, claimed £170,234 of taxpayers' money on expenses in 2012/13, official figures have revealed.
Placing him 130th in the list of 650 MPs released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the year before he claimed less than £140,000.
Zahawi spent the majority of the money, £145,469, on five members of staff, but he spent over £30,000 more on his team than the previous year.
His team was made up of three full-time workers and two part-time workers, including a PA, parliamentary assistants, and case workers.
The Conservative MP claimed £12,294 in office costs, around £5,400 less than the previous year.
He also claimed £3,323 on travel, £500 less than last year, and £9,148 on accommodation, over £2,000 more than last year.
Explaining the increase in staffing costs, Mr Zahawi told the Herald: “In 2012, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), who are responsible for setting and managing the MPs' expenses system, increased the staffing budget available for MP offices.
“This meant I was able to employ two additional part time members of staff to support me in dealing with the 6,049 individual emails and 623 individual letters I received from constituents in that year, as well as other casework from surgeries and meetings.
“Additionally in 2012 a member of my staff went on maternity leave. As a result, salary costs for maternity cover were paid from an IPSA contingency fund and are included in these figures.”
Stratford’s MP claimed more on expenses than both neighbouring Conservatives, Chris White, (Warwick and Leamington), and Jeremy Wright, (Kenilworth and Southam).
Chris White claimed £155,074 which put him 313rd in the table while Jeremy Wright claimed £144,142, placing him 420th.
Zahawi spent considerably more on staff, but less on office costs and accommodation than both of them. All three MPs also received a basic salary of £65,738.
In total, MPs spent £74.3million on staffing during 2012/13 and claimed £23.8million in personal expenses, including meals and taxis.
A year earlier staffing costs stood at only £66.9million, with personal expenses £23.5million.
Nadhim Zahawi's expenses
Year 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Office Costs £16,646.69 £17,730.28 £12,294.46
Staffing £100,003.03 £111,623.69 £145,469.06
Travel £3,135.01 £3,885.70 £3,323.30
Accommodation £9,882.79 £6,607.62 £9,147.81
Total £129,667.52 £139,847.29 £170,234.63