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.
ONLY a quarter of crimes in Warwickshire over the past 12 months have been solved by police, latest detection rates suggest.
Detection is when a suspect has been identified and recorded responsible for the crime. It is classed as solved, even though the suspect may not have been convicted.
The police solved 7,131 out of 28,331 reported crimes (25.2 per cent) between April 2013 and March 2014.
However, the year before, only 22.8 per cent of crimes were solved.
In the past twelve months, 17 per cent of domestic burglaries were solved (305 out of 1,795), and 26.7 per cent of robberies (66 out of 247).
There were 2,616 violent offences in Warwickshire that ended in injuries, 18 more than the previous year. The police solved under half of these violent crimes (47.9 per cent).
The 17 per cent ‘solved’ rate for burglaries is below the force’s target of 18 per cent, but Ron Ball, Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said detection rates were “misleading” and should be treated with caution.
“It suggests four out of five burglars will get away with it,” he said. “That is nowhere near the truth. Eventually the majority of burglars in Warwickshire are, and will be apprehended.”
Statistics are distorted because a small number of people commit the majority of crimes in Warwickshire and they can’t be tied to all of them, Mr Ball claims.
Warwickshire's Crime Commissioner Ron Ball said detection statistics can be “misleading”.
Although, strictly speaking, three-quarters of crimes remain unsolved, the police reckon they’ve caught their man more times than that.
On the whole, the number of reported crimes in Warwickshire is down.
There were 1,185 fewer crimes than the previous year (down four per cent) and senior officers are pleased with the results.
“It has been a particularly good year,” said Chief Constable Andy Parker.
“Crime levels are as low as they have ever been. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment in protecting the public of Warwickshire.”
In the Stratford district there were 5,144 crimes reported during 2013-14 – that’s 14 crimes a day and 61 fewer than the year before.
Supt Debbie Tedds, area commander for South Warwickshire said: “That’s a really important figure because last year crime was reduced by 14 per cent and we’ve managed to maintain that level.”
There were 28 fewer violent offences ending in injury (397 in total), 24 fewer stolen vehicles (90) and 369 fewer anti-social behaviour offences.
However, thefts from vehicle break-ins increased (up 42 to 665) and so did domestic burglaries (up 41 to 277).
Supt Tedds urged the public to remove valuables from their cars. “It is an opportunistic crime and it’s about removing that opportunity for the criminals,” she said.
She also asked Stratford to report people behaving oddly around vehicles.
“We’ve had some really good results in the last couple of months because people are phoning in and re-porting suspicious activity.”
Across Warwickshire burglaries fell by 96 from 1,891 to 1,795 and robberies fell by 26 to 247.
At a public meeting in Stratford last week police chiefs urged the public to report criminal activity.
“We cannot catch them if we don’t know what they’re doing,” said Chief Constable Parker. “Please, please, please ask your communities to report these crimes.”