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.
TESCO is being urged to make the front of its new store in Stratford-upon-Avon High Street look like nearby Jack Wills.
The supermarket chain is putting a Tesco Express where HMV used to be, but townspeople are concerned the proposed shop front could spoil the “historic spine” of the town.
There is even a £50,000 pot of Stratford District Council and Stratford Society money available for companies to make their fronts more traditional.
But a council officer has “incomprehensibly” recommended granting Tesco’s application to put in automatic grey rail sliding doors on the Grade II listed building.
Two years ago the council adopted a shop fronts design guide, using taxpayers’ money to help keep Stratford’s historic spine traditional.
“Jack Wills were the first to improve their shop front, the latest being the Zeiss shop,” explained Kevin Bond, chairman of the Stratford Society, which initiated the shop fronts scheme.
“It seems incomprehensible that an officer can recommend an approval against their own policy at a time when other shops are improving.
“It’s very important that when people come along like Tesco that we take the opportunity of improving it,” he added. “The current shop front is an absolute eyesore.”
Just a few doors down from the new Tesco Express, clothing company Jack Wills built a traditional shop front to look like dark wood, similar to WH Smith next door.
Making “strong objections” to Tesco’s proposed front, Stratford Town Council said: “This is a shop in the historic spine of the town.
“The existing shop front is poor architecturally and needs to be replaced with a traditional and sensitive frontage. Unfortunately the replacement frontage does not achieve this.
“Jack Wills is a great example of where a new traditional shop front has been sympathetically installed in the town centre.”
A decision will be made tonight whether to accept Tesco’s proposed front by Stratford District Council’s west area planning committee.
Mr Bond is going along to voice the society’s disapproval.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “It’s important that we fit in with both the local surroundings and the community.”