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.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
A STRATFORD-on-Avon district councillor has failed in his controversial bid to launch a wedding venue at his historic home in one of South Warwickshire’s most exclusive villages.
Cllr Robert Vaudry (Cons, Bardon), whose proposals brought him into bitter conflict with his fellow residents in Dorsington, has been told that he had lost his appeal against the district council’s rejection of his plans.
The decision was announced by government planning inspector Clive Hughes, who declared: “I conclude that the development would be seriously harmful to the character of Dorsington."
“It would also be likely to result in significant harm to the living conditions of nearby residents due to noise, especially from guests congregating outside the function room and from traffic exiting the site in late evening,” he added.
When the Herald contacted Cllr Vaudry it was the first he’d heard of the inspector’s decision. On being told what the planning inspector had decided, and why, Cllr Vaudry was asked to offer a comment.
He said: “I will have to have a look at it. I need to read it and then give a considered view. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”
But local campaigners who’ve been engaged in an acrimonious battle with Cllr Vaudry over his plans were jubilant.
Dorsington resident Ray Perry, whose wife Lesley is chairman of the parish council, told the Herald: “As you can imagine, the entire village is overjoyed. We have renewed our faith in the democratic process and we’re delighted that the inspector allowed us to have our say as fully as he did.”
Stratford district councillor Peter Barnes (Lib Dem, Welford)—in whose ward Dorsington is situated —said: “We’re obviously over the moon. We stuck together and the tranquility of the village will not be substantially ruined.”
Villagers found out about Cllr Vaudry’s plans to establish a wedding venue at his home, the centuries-old Moat House, shortly before Christmas 2012. They were furious, chiefly because they found out by accident via an advertisement in a theatre programme.
What made them even angrier was the fact that Cllr Vaudry’s wife, Sarah, was chairman of Dorsington Parish Council at the time. Soon after the row erupted she resigned.
Overnight Cllr Vaudry was transformed from being a popular, hail-fellow-well-met individual into a pantomime villain. And his uncomfortable role as a local hate figure has remained unabated for more than 15 months.
Villagers have voiced a number of complaints against Cllr Vaudry, but a few weeks ago he turned the tables on his accusers by claiming that it was he and his family who were being bullied and not them.
In a statement to the Herald last month on the eve of his appeal hearing, Cllr Vaudry said: “For over a year my family and I have had to endure a nasty, spiteful and very personalised campaign of bullying and harassment.”
He added: “We’ve had to endure one neighbour regularly shouting abuse at us and I caught another searching through my rubbish. My children will no longer walk alone through the village.”
Dorsington Residents’ Association responded shortly afterwards by firmly denying that any resident had initiated any abuse against Cllr Vaudry and his family.
The whole saga has been unusual not just because of the hostility surrounding a local councillor and his neighbours, but also because an elected representative has found himself at loggerheads with the local authority of which he himself is a member.