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.
A MOTHER whose parked car suddenly shot up in flames on Sunday morning because of a freak electrical fault has described the ordeal as “terrifying”.
Katheryn Conway said the 8am blaze on her driveway in Arrow Crescent, Alcester, proves the town needs to keep its 24-hour fire service.
Last week Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service announced cuts of £2.4 million which include proposals to remove overnight firefighters in Alcester, meaning the town's station only has an engine from 10am to 10pm.
“We were very grateful that they were so close,” said the 34-year-old mother. “Thankfully they were here within minutes.”
Neighbours were woken by an “explosion” before a fire engine from Alcester arrived to fight the flames billowing out of Katheryn’s Renault Clio.
“They were concerned when they got here that in the short time that it had been going for it had nearly gone in to the roof,” she said.
Two more fire engines – from Stratford-upon-Avon and Bidford-on-Avon – were sent for, and although the fire shattered upstairs bedroom windows and “warped” window frames, the damage done to the house was contained to a limited amount.
“Had they have had to come from Stratford, it would have already gone into the roof,” said homeowner Katheryn, whose lived in Arrow Crescent for seven years. “We’d have lost the house I think.”
The inside of Katheryn’s burnt-out Clio.
She initially thought her neighbours were mixing cement when woken by the noise, before she peered out of her front-facing bedroom window.
“I think I probably swore,” she said, before bustling partner Chris Dawson and her 15-year-old son Josh out the back door.
The car was underneath an unoccupied bedroom. “Luckily my brother and his girlfriend are off travelling,” explained the music teacher, who also works at The Royal Oak in town.
“It was terrifying,” she said. “From the bottom of the garden you could see the flames and the smoke was getting blacker. It just seemed to be getting worse all the time.”
The fire service is planning to cut £2.4 million from its £20 million budget by 2018. Thirty-five jobs will be lost in the next two years.
Ian Tonner, Group Commander in Strategy and Planning at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue said the decision to remove overnight firefighters from Alcester was made because in the last two years there have only been three or four incidents in the town during these hours.
“It’s about getting the right truck in the right place at the right time,” he said. “We don’t require a full-time truck to be there.”
Overnight the town will be covered by firefighteres from Stratford, Bidford and elsewhere.
The car was written off.
A consultation period with the public has been launched, and after Sunday’s fire the people of Alcester have become more concerned.
“It’s certainly a hot topic,” said Katheryn, whose mum Helen has already written to the service to express the need to keep firefighters in Alcester.
“It just goes to show we do need there to be 24 hour coverage,” said Katheryn. “Hopefully something good can come out of it.”
To complete the consultation survery visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue
Upstairs windows were smashed and the frames were damaged.
What do you think of the decision to remove Alcester’s overnight firefighters? Let us know in the comments below.