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 jury in the so-called Costa Coffee crash case at Birmingham Crown Court this afternoon found former magistrate Alan Marks guilty of dangerous driving.
Mr Marks, aged 65, of Shottery, was given a two-year conditional discharge and disqualified from driving for two years.
He was also ordered to pay £1,200 in costs.
Sentencing Mr Marks the judge, Recorder Patrick Upward QC, told him that if he decided to drive again he would have to take a driving test.
Recorder Upward told Mr Marks – who had pleaded not guilty – that the accident had been caused by “a tragic error” on his part.
The judge added: “There is no suggestion drink was involved – just an unhappy error causing injuries to yourself and to others.”
Recorder Upward told Mr Marks that he bore in mind his excellent record to the community and that he had originally been told by the authorities that he would not be prosecuted.
Mr Marks had claimed during the four-day trial that his car, an automatic VW Touran which he bought new in late 2009 and in which he had driven 25,000 miles, suddenly accelerated of its own accord in Stratford High Street on a Monday afternoon over two years ago and that his attempts to stop it by pressing the foot brake had no effect.
But the prosecution argued that Mr Marks had mistakenly pressed the accelerator and not the foot brake and that it was this action that caused the crash.
The jury took two hours to reach its verdict.
Afterwards Mr Marks’s solicitor told the Herald that his client did not wish to make any comment to the press.
In a statement after the verdict John Bristow, acting sector Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “The driving of Alan Marks that day was clearly below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.
“Due to the defendant’s disability, his vehicle had been specially adapted in order for him to use it. However, by his own admission he was not using the adaptation.”
Mr Bristow added: “We hope that this prosecution reminds anyone who has had their car specially adapted in order for them to use it due to disability to always use the adaptations, as otherwise you are not only putting yourself in danger but other road users too.”
For a report on the first three days of the trial see today’s Herald.