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 vital foodbank could be forced to close if a new warehouse is not found.
That was the message from the chairman of trustees, David Sladden, at their recent AGM.
At the moment, the team stores food in two Portakabins in Drayton Avenue, and distribute it at Holy Trinity Parish Centre on Tuesdays and the United Reformed Church on Fridays.
However, they have to move out of Drayton Avenue by December and are now desperately looking for a location to act as a one-stop shop, somewhere they can both store food and give it out.
In his annual report, Mr Sladden’s message was clear.
“This really is a critical issue,” he said. “If we don’t have a warehouse the food bank could close.
“This would not only be a bitter disappointment to everyone who has been involved in getting the food bank to where it is today, it would be a disaster for those who need our help in their time of crisis.”
An initiative of the Trussell Trust, the food bank has distributed over 1,600 food parcels since it opened in January 2013 and currently helps to feed around 25 people each week.
A mammoth team of 70 volunteers help run the facility and many give hours of their valuable time to make sure the hungry in Stratford get fed.
“Things are desperate,” said Heather Bridgewater, distributions co-ordinator.
“We need somewhere fairly central for clients and somewhere that will take a warehouse in the back, a meet and greet room in the front, and has toilet facilities.”
There are permanent collection points for the food bank at Tesco in Birmingham Road and Waitrose on Shipston Road. Staff at Marks and Spencer Simply Food have chosen it as their charity of the year.
“I can’t tell you how generous the general public are,” said Ms Bridgewater.
“Companies, the churches, they all donate. People are just so generous. Sometimes we’re overwhelmed with people’s kindness.”
On top of that, the United Reformed Church and Holy Trinity Church have been letting them use their premises free of charge.
But the food bank is getting busier, and it’s reached capacity in its current format.
It’s hoped a new location will allow expansion, and volunteers want to provide clothes as well as food for those in need.
Anyone able to help should call 07884 418732 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org