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 MYSTERY lifesaver who rescued a drowning woman in the River Avon should be tracked down and given an award, according to Stratford’s MP and the UK’s drowning prevention charity.
Earlier this month the unknown hero stripped down to his boxer shorts on a late Friday night and braved the icy cold water in Stratford-upon-Avno to save a stranger.
Swimming out to the woman who appeared to be stuck in some reeds, he held her above water for 20 minutes until the emergency services arrived.
Andy Smith, aged 49, of Alcester Road, Stratford, stopped his car on the Seven Meadows Road bridge in Stratford around midnight on 7th March and witnessed the whole thing.
“We saw a few people and heard screaming so we stopped the car and got out. It became apparent fairly quickly that somebody had gone in the river,” he said.
“As I got there, there was a lad who had stripped off and he was swimming over to the girl.”
Andy’s wife called the emergency services while the pair watched on nervously from the bridge.
“He just held on to her for about 20 minutes or so, it was a hell of a long time and it was freezing don’t forget, I was freezing up on the bank.”
When the firefighters arrived, one tied a piece of rope around his waist and swam out to collect the girl.
The anonymous hero then swam over to the other bank and retrieved his clothes.
“He risked his life,” said Andy. “Without him, it’s 50/50 whether she would have survived to be honest.
“She was getting further and further away from the bridge, and it was pitch black.”
The Herald tracked down the woman but although she thanked her mystery swimmer, she did not want to be identified.
The man, who according to Andy looked like he was in his late 20s or early 30s, has not been found.
“I think this lad should be rewarded in some shape or form, I think it was brilliant what he did,” said Andy.
He’s not the only one. The UK’s drowning prevention charity, the Royal Life Saving Society, have joined the campaign.
Based in Broom, near Alcester, the charity was founded in 1891 and has more than 13,000 members. They want to find out more information on the local rescue attempt.
Adrian Lole, director of lifesaving, said: “Whilst we would always advise strongly against anyone entering the water to rescue someone and would ask they use other techniques to reach them, we would ask anyone who may know the identity of this man to get in touch.
“It would be good to know more information on the man, and the rescue and, if appropriate, consider recognising his actions with one of our awards.”
When he came across the incident, Andy was driving back from a party at The Fox pub in Loxley, one Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi also attended.
The MP said: “I wish to pay tribute to the quick-thinking and bravery of Stratford’s mystery ‘life-saver’, and would urge him to come forward and receive the recognition he deserves for his selfless and public spirited actions.”
Do you know the mystery swimmer who rescued the drowning woman? Call the Herald newsdesk at 01789 412819 or e-mail email@example.com and help us recognise him properly.
Photo River Avon, Seven Meadows Road Bridge (David Dixon) / CC BY-SA 2.0″