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 VITAL refuge in Stratford-upon-Avon for women who face domestic violence and abuse has been thrown a second £25,000 lifeline by Stratford District Council.
The council’s ruling cabinet agreed the so-called “one-off” provision of cash at a recent meeting. The financial support was said to be necessary so the facility could keep going while alternative methods of financing were investigated.
Cllr Chris Saint (Cons, Tredington), the leader of the council, told the meeting: “We thought that as community leaders we ought to guarantee its future. We now have an operator who will look after that work.”
A councillor who is a keen supporter of the refuge, Cllr Peter Oakley (Cons, Tanworth), told members: “I want to thank the district council for this second generosity.
“It is not an SDC responsibility, but the SDC is stepping in where nobody else would. But this is a national issue. Every week women die because of domestic violence and sometimes their children die with them. Thank you very much for this money.”
Cllr Maurice Howse (Cons, Bidford and Salford), the council’s portfolio holder for enterprise, housing and revenues, said: “It’s been a very difficult thing to resolve. I think it’s right to say we’re very close to a way forward so we can come back to the cabinet with a final solution.”
Papers presented to the cabinet stated: “The current providers of the Stratford-upon-Avon refuge have given notice that they no longer wish to provide this service.
“Refuge, the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic violence services, has expressed an interest in taking on the management of this local asset and negotiations around the lease and funding are currently under way.
“Initial budget preparation indicates that after housing benefit receipt there will be a shortfall of up to £25,000 per annum in the running costs and it is requested that the district council meets this gap whilst continuing to work with the new providers to narrow this funding shortfall in future years.”
Orbit Heart of England, the housing association which owns the five units that make up the refuge, said this week that the organisation was working with the district council and refuge to ensure that the service continued.
A spokeswoman for Orbit said there was a meeting of the interested parties tomorrow (Friday) “to move things along smoothly.”
She added: “Our priority is to keep this service in Stratford for the benefit of women in the area.”
Liz Smeyatsky, the manager of the Stratford refuge, told the Herald: “Stratford District Council has always been very supportive of the refuge, of its staff and of its residents.
“Orbit likewise are very committed to keeping the refuge in the district and have worked very hard to ensure it will remain.
“As a representative of Families First I really appreciate the support the refuge has been given by these agencies to secure its future. I’m very happy it will still be a refuge.”
Stratford District Council came to the rescue of the refuge nearly a year ago when previous funding dried up. Its contribution then was an intended “one-off” payment of £25,000. This year’s £25,000 payment is coming from an underspend in the council’s 2013-14 corporate budget.