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.
A REFERENDUM in Shipston-on-Stour on whether the town council should buy the police station for £180,000 could sabotage the purchase at the 11th hour.
The council, which wants to buy the building in West Street so officers still have a base in the town, has been negotiating with Warwickshire Police for nearly a year.
The council plans to move into the police station in March, letting two rooms back to the police— an office and a small locker room.
But there is a public meeting on Wednesday night at the Townsend Hall, in Sheep Street, where residents will vote whether they want a poll of all the town’s electors on the decision.
Mike Ashley, one of six citizens who called for the meeting, said the people of Shipston had not been consulted enough on such a huge purchase paid for with taxpayers’ money.
Georgina Beaumont, the town clerk, pointed out that holding the poll would cost the town council £3,000. The purchase of the police station had been discussed at town council meetings where the public were allowed to voice their opinions for three minutes, and the progress of negotiations had been revealed in the last four issue of Shipston Forum, the community newsletter, she said.
Although unhappy it is being held at all, the Mayor of Shipston, Cllr Paul Rathkey, said he will exercise his right as town mayor and chair the meeting.
Only one councillor, Philip Vial, does not support the purchase, but even he is unhappy the meeting is taking place. He said: “I am perhaps the only councillor who opposed the police station purchase in the end and even I think this is an appalling step.
“Although I have no problem with local residents wanting to call a parish poll—in fact I applaud it—calling a poorly advertised meeting at one week's notice is not exactly democracy in action.
“He [Mr Ashley] should have given more time and more thought to publicity for the meeting before taking this step.
“Whichever way it goes local people will have to pick up the bill for the referendum, just when the town council had actually managed to reduce this year's precept.”
Moving the council to the police station will allow it to either lease or sell its current home, Clark House in West Street.