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 STRATFORD-upon-Avon singer is appearing on the BBC TV talent show, The Voice, this Saturday.
Tom Barnwell, a 26-year-old ambulance controller for West Midlands Ambulance Service, is appearing in the final round of ‘blind auditions’ – where singers try to impress famous judges who can’t see them.
This week, the amateur vocalist spoke to the Herald ahead of the show.
“I really enjoyed it, I can’t even describe the feeling, it was amazing,” he said.
“It’s one of the best experiences I have ever had in music and an incredible chance to sing in front of four big people in the industry.”
Tom sang his own version of American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West to the backs of celebrity judges will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson from The Kaiser Chiefs, and Kylie Minogue.
Although it was filmed back in October, contractually he wasn’t allowed to reveal whether any judges turned around, putting him through to the next round.
Tom, who lives in the Bridgetown area, started singing at 13 and has performed in Stratford at The Church Street Townhouse restaurant in the past.
A former pupil of North Leamington School, he said: “I’ve had some coaching before, not loads, just at school really.”
One of his old vocal coaches entered him into the show, without him realising.
“I would never have had the confidence to apply for these shows,” said Tom. “I’ve always thought about doing The Voice and other TV talent shows, but I’ve never had the push to do it myself.”
After impressing producers during the preliminary rounds in Birmingham, he was put on the show, filmed in Manchester last year.
“I’m just so excited for people to see it,” he said. “Obviously now we’re in week seven of the show, I’ve had to be quite quiet. It’s exciting to be finally on it.”
Although you’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out if Tom gets through, you can hear a short clip of his performance on The Voice app, where people can vote themselves whether they’d turn their chair around for the performers.
Two thirds of people on the app have voted Tom through, making him the second most popular singer ahead of Saturday’s airing, so it’s looking good.
A former Henley High School pupil has already made it through to the second round of The Voice this season.
Melissa Gill, aged 21, chose Tom Jones as her coach after three judges turned their chairs around to her rendition of Love is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse.
The Voice is on BBC1 at 7pm, Saturday.