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.
CYCLING on pavements in Stratford-upon-Avon has divided opinion in the town. Never before has one issue caused such controversy and stirred such vigorous debate.
The whole subject is rapidly becoming a hot political potato. An in-depth investigation, into what appeared to be a straightforward discussion about the legal implications of cycling on pavements, is available on the front page of this week's paper.
It has unearthed a whole range of deeper social issues relating to the debate. Issues which include, intimidation, hostility, socially unacceptable behaviour, human rights, road safety, motoring and the environment.
The Herald has talked with people who call themselves responsible cyclists and who ride on the town’s pavements. They say they’re too scared to use the roads which they describe as dangerous and frightening places to be. They also don’t see why the lives of their children should be put at risk by cycling on Stratford’s busy roads.
But some pedstrians in the town oppose this reasoning. They say cyclists shouldn’t even be on the pavements in the first place because they’re breaking the law. and they fear it’s only a matter of time before a pedestrian, resident or possibly even a tourist is seriously injured – perhaps fatally – as a result of a bike crashing into them.
Embedded within the debate there’s also the fundamental question about individual freedom. Both parties say they choose to live and work in Stratford because of its charisma and its history, but our investigation reveals that the town is not alone when confronting this thorny issue. According to one motoring organisation – The Automobile Association – selfish pavement cycling is widespread across the country and on the increase.
Talk of the whole situation spiralling out of control is perhaps premature but what the Herald investigation clearly shows is the debate is ongoing, can be discussed from several intelligent viewpoints, has effectively split public opinion and is undeniably heating up.
See this week's Stratford Herald for the full story!
Tony Jefferson is a keen campaigner on pedestrian safety.