Grantham Journal Review of the Year: March

Station Approach design for Grantham.
Station Approach design for Grantham.
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In a surprise move, South Kesteven District Council announced it would be building its first new council houses since 1999.

The council set aside £3m for the project and leader Councillor Linda Neal said: “We have ambitious growth plans to maximise the massive potential of the area and providing social housing is very much a part of that.”

In another surprise move, new Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick suspended the Chief Constable Neil Rhodes over “potential conduct matters”.

And, in a third surprise move, Bottesford Parish Council put up its Council Tax precept by 90 per cent to overcome under-funding and increase investment in playing fields, youth club and £20,000 towards the village/neighbourhood plan.

Surprise move number four this month was the decision of East Midlands Ambulance Service to promote Grantham as a new “super station” when the original concept was for it to be reduced to community status. Almost 13,000 people signed a petition put together by campaign group Grantham Ambulance Station Protest (Last GASP).

Trudy Brothwell, CEO of West Grantham Acadamies, assured parents it was “not a done deal” to close Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen, moving the 230 pupils to St Hugh’s in Grantham. The consultation was to close at the end of this month and a petition opposing the closure has attracted more than 3,000 signatures.

A part of Grantham was designated a conservation area. After months of campaigning by pressure group Conserving Grantham, the St Anne’s Conservation area was created, covering parts of the town east of the River Witham from Wyndham Park to Harrowby Road. The status means natural features, heritage and buildings of historical interest are safeguarded.

Substantial investment in Prince William of Gloucester Barracks was announced by the Government as the number of personnel there was set to increase with the transfer of 102 Logistic Brigade from Germany.

The Labour group at South Kesteven District Council proposed a Margaret Thatcher stature to be erected in her hometown, but Conservatives voted it out, Councillor Frances Cartwright saying: “It is unseemly to talk about such things when Baroness Thatcher is currently so ill.”

The following week, Grantham Museum launched a £200,000 project to commission a “larger than life” statue of Baroness Thatcher. It will raise the money through donations and merchandise with a minimum of 50p from every sale going towards the refurbishment of the museum and the rest towards the statue.

After delivering fresh fish to more than 1.5m customers for the last half-century, Welbourn man Rick Streeter decided to retire.

A district council move to buy the land owned by Jewsons and Tanvic in Wharf Road was refused by the Secretary of State, halting the Station Approach plan to create new homes, a hotel and offices to house 1,000 new jobs.

Police shot a runaway cow dead in the car park of Belton Lane Children’s Centre.