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.
GUN licences cost Warwickshire taxpayers £139,000 last year, it has emerged.
The amount of police money spent every year licensing shotguns was labelled “disturbing” and “indefensible” by the county’s deputy crime commissioner, Eric Wood, at a public meeting in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Gun owners pay £50 for a five-year firearms licence and £40 for a renewal, but if you average it out nationally, each one costs police £196 to process.
Between April 2013 and March 2014, Warwickshire Police made roughly £48,000 from firearms licences and shotgun certificates.
However, the cost of administering these was £187,000 because the force employ the equivalent of eight full-time people to do the job.
“I do find it disturbing that taxpayers in Warwickshire are funding shotgun licences,” said Dr Wood. “There should be a more efficient system of processing to avoid the taxpayer subsidising the shooter.”
There are a total of 35,000 shotguns in Warwickshire and West Mercia, and each year thousands of people apply for and renew their licences, all at a cost to the police.
The forces, who entered into an alliance last year, have to save £30 million between them by 2015. They employ 28 full-time people on gun licensing.
Dr Wood wants to increase the £50 fee, which has stayed the same for some years, and make the licensing process more efficient.
“It’s more expensive to get a fishing licence!” he exclaimed. Dr Wood has spoken to the shooting community, some of whom agree the fee should be increased alongside inflation rates, provided the police’s administrative costs are lowered.
Chief Constable Andy Parker agreed but was wary of jeopardising an important job.
“Quite clearly you can never take away having to visit these people and looking at shotgun cabinets, but I do think there is a valid point and we can streamline it significantly,” he said.
“There is an element of public safety and we need to make sure that the right people get the guns,” admitted Dr Wood. “I just think it’s wrong we’re subsidising it by so much.”
He is now going to take the case to increase the fee to the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and is meeting the alliance’s firearms licensing unit to discuss how to streamline the process.