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.
STRATFORD-upon-Avon mum Martine Barons has just graduated with a maths-centred PhD from Warwick University—after twice being told by her school teachers that she would not cope with the maths at A-level.
Martine’s interest in mathematics began to develop at age 16 when the penny seemed to drop shortly before her O-level exams.
Despite being predicted a ‘C’ grade and achieving a ‘B’, she was told she wouldn’t cope with ‘A’ level and so did not pursue it.
Fast-forward 25 years, now married with three teenage sons and a plan to become a teacher, Martine enrolled at Stratford College and passed A-level maths with the top grade.
She went to Coventry University where she was introduced to mathematical modelling—representing a part of the real world with mathematics to predict its behaviour—and was enthralled with the idea that maths can be used to make people’s lives better e.g. by improving traffic flows or revealing the best strategy for dealing with an epidemic.
At the end of her degree, Martine was offered a place on the MSc+PhD course at Warwick’s Complexity Science centre.
Once again, one of her teachers told her she wouldn’t cope. Martine said: “I thought they were probably right, but I really wanted to do it, so I thought I would rather try and fail, than not try.”
In the event, Martine passed both her master’s degree and doctorate and has now secured a research position at the University of Warwick.
Martine’s doctoral research compared the efficacy of machine learning and statistical techniques for the tailoring of medical treatments to patients.
Her current research uses mathematics to bring together the diverse elements involved in food security in a coherent way to support decision-making and test policy options.
“With a predicted nine billion mouths to feed by 2050, food security is a very hot topic right now and this research fits very firmly into the use of maths to make people’s lives better which I find so inspiring.”