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.
STRATFORD-upon-Avon food bank handed out a total of 1,215 food parcels over the past 12 months, and more than a fifth of those were given to children.
Last week food bank charity The Trussell Trust revealed that nationally, the number of people receiving emergency food parcels had more than doubled from 347,000 to 913,000.
The trust set up a food bank in Stratford in January 2013 and so has no comparative local data for previous years.
However, Stratford’s manager Richard Jackson told the Herald the branch has quickly become “vitally important” to struggling members of the community.
From April 2013 to March 2014 the charity handed out more than 1,200 food parcels – 255 for children – and the number of hungry people asking for help is on the rise.
Over half of the food bank users needed help because of changes or delays to their welfare benefits, whereas a fifth of people (21%) visited the food bank because of low income.
Mr Jackson said the rising cost of living in Stratford was a “very real issue” for his users.
Despite the difficulties being faced by some of the poorest members of the community, he said the food bank is an example of how Stratford has come together to help those in crisis.
“We have been amazed by the generosity of all sections of the local community which has enabled the food bank to provide the service that it does,” he said.
“We are so grateful to so many people. Major funders such as the Stratford Town Trust; companies such as DCS Europe, Tesco and Waitrose; local churches, charities and organisations; individual members of the community who have donated either food or money and, of course, our brilliant volunteers.
“All these people have made vital contributions to ensure that no-one need go hungry in Stratford and it is a perfect example of local people working together to find a local solution to a local problem.”
Stratford food bank has two distribution centres – Holy Trinity Parish Centre which is open on Tuesdays, and the United Reformed Church in Rother Street on Fridays.
Food is given to people in crisis identified by front line care professionals such as doctors, social workers, and the citizen’s advice bureau.
Donations can be handed in at the two distributions centres or one of the permanent collection points at Tesco on Birmingham Road or Waitrose on Shipston Road.
To find out more visit www.stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk