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.
THE chief constable of Warwickshire was being held to account at a public meeting in Stratford-upon-Avon last week, but hardly any residents turned up.
The small number of locals who were at Stratford High School criticised both the police, and the crime commissioner’s office for not advertising the evening meeting better.
Richard Vos said: “Can I ask why there was no publicity for this meeting? Why nobody in Stratford knew? You had to dig very, very, very deep to find out about this.”
The public meeting was for Ron Ball, Warwickshire’s police and crime commissioner, to hold the county’s chief constable, Andy Parker, to account.
It is the essence of Mr Ball’s £65,000-a-year job, one which is supplemented by seven members of staff and one deputy.
The commissioner’s office also has a chief executive on £77,000 a year and the whole system costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Mr Vos angrily pointed out a grand total of three members of the public were at the previous public meeting in Stratford, held in early 2013.
There weren’t many more this year – official figures say 15 – and Mr Vos demanded the meetings be better advertised.
Commissioner Ball, who was elected in 2012, said: “I don’t think we have any alternative but to take that one on the chin.”
However speaking to the Herald afterwards, a disappointed and hurt Mr Ball changed his mind and decided the criticism levelled at him was “unjustified”.
“Having accepted the criticism at the meeting I think, on reflection, that this group of critics might like to consider whether an apology would be appropriate,” he said.
Because 400 notifications were sent out to a range of public bodies before the meeting, he believes it was adequately advertised.
However, only a tiny proportion of these people turned up. The amount of people in the room on police salaries was roughly the same as those who weren’t.
Angry resident Andrew Davies claimed to have contacted the commissioner’s office on five separate occasions without a response.
He said: “I know you won’t advertise because you don’t like people attending public meetings.”
Mr Ball said: “We are not trying to sneak through a meeting where few people as possible go to it. It’s frustrating for us, I would much rather have that room packed to the gunnels.”
The meeting was also streamed live on the internet and there were around 270 people watching.