Grantham Journal Review of the Year: December

Lapland with When You Wish Upon A Star
Lapland with When You Wish Upon A Star
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Council leader Linda Neal branded Grantham MP Nick Boles’ planned petition to secure free parking for two hours in the town centre “totally at odds” with South Kesteven District Council’s policy.

Coun Neal said the council wanted shoppers to “linger longer” in and around town and pointed out people who wanted to do a quick shop or pick something up could buy a half-hour ticket for 50p.

She said implementing the scheme would cost at least £370,000 and would mean the council would have to charge more for other services like green bins and pointed out: “But that would mean many people who do not use the car parks would be subsidising those who do.”

Mr Boles said free parking would produce a “strong resurgence of spending in town centres” and went ahead with the launch on Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign to highlight independent businesses.

Despite protests, opening times at Grantham Library would be reduced by seven hours. One of the biggest in the county, the town centre location will be open 48 hours per week from May 6 with evening hours cut.

Elsewhere, ‘community hubs’ will be supported by the county council until March 2015 when they will be expected to be self-financing. The rural mobile service will continue as the libraries budget will be cut from £6.08m to £4.3m with a loss of 102 jobs.

Reindeer, snow and Santa combined with community spirit to make the Christmas on the Green and festive market events – the traditional start of Christmas in Grantham – one of the best yet, despite the funding and other issues faced by the voluntary Grantham Carnival and Events Group.

The Grantham is Great community awards, which pay tribute to the work of people who work for others and the community, was one of the most emotional ever with winners ranging in age from seven-year-old Leon Brackenbury to 77-year-old Lol Pickin.

Five seriously-ill children joined a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland, thanks to the Journal’s Christmas Cracker Appeal, which was so well supported by readers and local businesses.

Grantham Hospital announced building work had started to turn Kingfisher Ward into a hub where as many as 15 different services for children would be available.

Princess Anne came to Grantham to plant at tree at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks to celebrate the Grantham-based Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project to plant six million trees in honour of the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

County highways were to put up a sign making it clear how to use the £212k Springfield Road/London Road junction. Some motorists were waiting in the left land and then going straight across the junction, causing several near misses.

After a turbulent year, Neil Rhodes was confirmed as the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire.