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 owners of historic Warwick Castle yesterday failed to overturn a £350,000 fine imposed over the death of a pensioner who toppled head-first into a moat during a visit.
Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, which acquired the Grade 1* listed castle in 1978, was prosecuted over the death of 72-year-old George Townley, who suffered devastating head wounds in the December 2007 tragedy while exiting the monument.
“At about 4.30pm he was leaving via the Bear and Clarence Bridge when he tripped over the parapet wall on his left hand side, fell head first into the moat, and thereby suffered fatal head injuries,” Lord Justice Gross told London's Appeal Court.
The judge who sentenced Merlin Attractions said that the company had a generally good safety record at the castle, but that its safety failings relating to the Bear and Clarence Bridge represented an “uncharacteristic blind spot which had fatal consequences”.
The main bridge to the castle has three-feet high stone walls on either side, but the bridge over which Mr Townley came to grief had a 13-inch parapet.
The company was convicted of two offences under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act at Warwick Crown Court in April this year, and hit with the £350,015 fine.
It was also ordered to pay £145,000 in prosecution costs.
The case reached the Appeal Court as the company's lawyers challenged the sentence with claims that the punishment was disproportionate to its “generally responsible attitude towards health and safety”.
But Lord Justice Gross rejected claims that the total fine and costs order was “manifestly excessive” and ruled that it was “within the appropriate range, albeit towards the top end of it”.
“Notwithstanding the company's generally good health and safety systems, its good record and the other mitigating features…it seems to us that the judge was entitled to conclude that the total fine…had to be measured in hundreds of thousands of pounds,” he added.
The judge was entitled to conclude there had been a serious breach of the company's health and safety systems and “that that had resulted in an obvious danger of at least serious injury, not so much in relation to adults, but in relation to children, to which a very large number of people had been exposed over many years”.