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.
JOHNSONS Coach & Bus travel has been awarded a government grant of more than £700,000 to provide up to eight new diesel-electric hybrids.
Eighty per cent of the Henley-in-Arden company's buses operate out of Stratford-upon-Avon, so the money from the Green Bus Fund is likely to be spent on hybrid vehicles for the town.
Peter Johnson, Operations Director, said: “As a community provider, we want to make sure we are part of the solution for improving air quality and cutting down on CO2 consumption. The Green Bus Fund is a tremendous opportunity to do this, already proven successful by the operation of our existing hybrids.”
Buses ease congestion and demand for parking facilities. The success of which, however, depends on public interest and uptake. Brand new, top of the range vehicles will help to encourage more passengers to travel by bus, with an added novelty factor because they’re hybrids.
It is very poignant that this should happen just days after the announcement that fuel prices will go up once again. In the current economic climate, businesses are more susceptible to price increases than ever. Johnsons already spends 15% of its annual turnover on diesel and is convinced that this dependency needs to be moderated. Greener buses will not only serve to enhance the local community but to future proof a leading local employer.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “This funding means a better deal for passengers and encourages more people to travel by bus. It updates and improves services and infrastructure, reduces congestion, gives quieter journeys and with the introduction of new carbon friendly buses, reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions, creating a greener network.”