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.
THE number of children arrested in Warwickshire has fallen by more than 70 per cent in the last five years, new figures show.
Warwickshire Police also arrested the least number of children in 2013 out of any force in the UK – apart from the tiny City of London force which only polices the financial business district.
In 2008 there were 2,147 child arrests in Warwickshire. Since then this number has fallen continually, and last year only 623 children were arrested.
Across the UK child arrests are down 59 per cent in the five years.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Morgan explained the changes behind the falling numbers.
“If allegations involve a young person, a careful balance needs to be made between arriving at the right outcome for the victim whilst ensuring that the child has an opportunity to show remorse, learn from their mistakes and, with the appropriate support, move forward in a constructive way.”
Police in Warwickshire and across the UK have been increasingly using a process called ‘restorative justice’, which puts emphasis on young offenders working with their victims to find alternative solutions to the problem rather than taking them to court.
It is hoped this process does not criminalise children unnecessarily.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the figures were “encouraging”.
“A sharp fall in the number of children entering the justice system is good news for everyone striving to reduce crime and saves the taxpayer untold millions,” she said.
“At a time of austerity, further reducing the number of children arrested would free up more officer time to deal with serious crimes.”
Children in England and Wales can be arrested by police from the age of 10 – the lowest age of criminal responsibility in Western Europe.
Children arrested in Warwickshire
2008 – 2,147
2009 – 1,774
2010 – 1,419
2011 – 1,050
2012 – 673
2013 – 623