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 INDEPENDENT candidate for Warwickshire's police and crime commissioner, Ron Ball, was elected into the role today, suggesting the people of Warwickshire do not want party politics influencing local policing.
After the first round of votes, Mr Ball was second in the running, having received 21,410 votes. The Labour candidate James Plaskitt was winning with 22,308 votes, and the Conservative candidate, Fraser Pithie, was eliminated after receiving 20,571 votes.
However, because the Supplementary Vote (SV) system was used in the PCC elections, the second choices of those who voted for Pithie were then counted.
Mr Ball easily overtook Mr Plaskitt, as it became apparent those who voted Conservative first, were unlikely to cast their second vote for Labour.
In the Stratford district, Ball received 3,909 of Pithie's votes, whereas Plaskitt only garnered 683 more. The final total count was 33,231 for Ball, and 25,200 for Plaskitt.
Mr Ball, who has been elected for four years and will be paid £65,000 a year, said: “In terms of the result, I think I tapped into the feelings that this was bringing party politics too close to policing. I don't think the other candidates really recognised that.”
The whole election was marred by a dismal turnout. Only 66,085 people turned out to vote in Warwickshire, just 15.65% of the electorate. The Electoral Commission have launched an inquiry into the “dismal” turnout figures throughout England and Wales.
Mr Ball said: “The low turnout is the fault of the government which did such a bad job of selling a flagship policy. I don't know if they're embarrassed, but they should be.”
The new role is designed to ensure the policing needs of the communities in Warwickshire are met. The Home Office say police commissioners will give the public a say when it comes to cutting crime.
Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Andy Parker said: “Following the election of the first police and crime commissioner for Warwickshire the top priorities were a continuation of the strategic alliance with West Mercia offering the best possible service with the resources we have available, which to me means, catching more criminals and reducing crime. We need to make sure we are affordable and sustainable as we go forward.”