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.
FIREFIGHTERS in Warwickshire are going on strike every day this week as the row with the government over pensions and retirement age heats up.
Eight days of consecutive strikes started yesterday, (Monday 14th July), with firefighters downing tools for up to four hours each day.
Twenty-nine out of 42 firefighters on shift went on strike Monday morning and similar numbers are expected throughout the week.
The county has a total of 393 firefighters, with 280 paid whole-time firefighters. The rest are retained volunteers.
Most of the strikes are taking place at peak times for motorists, between 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm.
Road accidents now make up the majority of the fire service’s call-outs because firefighters are often required to help remove injured people from wreckages.
The Fire Brigades Union have launched the eight-day strike over what it calls a “vicious” attack on pensions that are “unacceptable”, “unworkable”, and “unrealistic”.
As well as proposing to extend firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60, the government has imposed a third annual increase in how much firefighters pay in to their pensions, taking it to 14.2 per cent for most of them.
The FBU say this means that a firefighter with a salary of less than £29,000 now pays around £4,000 a year for a pension that is being devalued and attacked.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families’ futures, and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.
“We have tried every route available to us to make the government see sense over their attacks.
“Three years of negotiations have come to nothing because the government is simply unwilling to compromise or even listen to reason despite a huge amount of evidence showing their planned scheme is unworkable.
“Shorter strike periods have illustrated the strength of feeling amongst firefighters whilst limiting disruption to the fire service, the public and our members’ working lives. But the government is merely ploughing ahead, forcing firefighters to react.”
The strikes are taking place between 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm from Monday 14th July to Thursday 17th July, and on Monday 21st July.
On Friday, the strikes are between 6am-8m and 11pm-1am, and on Saturday between 11am-1pm and 11pm-1am. Sunday’s strikes take place between 5pm-7pm.
Thirty-three firefighters also took part in the public sector strikes on Thursday 10th July.