Grantham Journal Review of the Year: November

The Pioneers parade through Grantham for the last time. 810D
The Pioneers parade through Grantham for the last time. 810D
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Grantham MP Nick Boles threatened to remove the town’s hospital from the control of the under-fire United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

After defending the ULHT’s decision to close the maternity unit to secure other service improvements, he said he would not accept any back-tracking on the plans agreed in a Shaping Health document.

“If they try to cherry pick parts of the package and backslide on others, it would amount to a fundamental breach of trust with the public. We expect all of the key elements, including the plans for A&E, to be implemented. If they are not willing, we will invite a neighbouring trust to take on the responsibility,” he said.

A week later, trust chief executive Jane Lewington, told a meeting in Grantham they were looking to develop day surgery, specialist rehabilitation services, children’s services and palliative care, stating: “This is not about shutting Grantham Hospital. We want it to succeed and expand.”

Towards the end of the month, a hospital ‘whistleblower’ told the Journal staffing levels were so low, the trust would have to close 52 beds, almost half, and its children’s ward and A&E in favour of an emergency care centre. A trust spokesman said there were no plans to close any beds, Grantham would become a hub for children’s services and A&E had always had a consultant on-call system at night.

The number of claims for compensation for pothole damage to vehicles dealt with by Lincolnshire County Council was three times higher than initially thought. Almost 2,000 claims and a payout of virtually £225,000 had been agreed between January 2012 and August 2013, not 617 claims and almost £90,000. The council apologised for the error, the result of a Journal Freedom of Information request.

One of Grantham’s most successful sporting sons returned to town. Rod Ellingworth began his career in cycling with Witham Wheelers before he went on to coach world champions and Tour de France winners like Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins.

Grantham-based 168 Pioneer Regiment marched through the town for the last time before being disbanded. A spokesman called a day of pride.

South Kesteven District Council had bought the former Rose Castle pub in Trent Road, which has been shut after a troubled past, but would not reveal what the plans were for it.

More potential traffic delays in the run-up to Christmas were avoided when 
work at the junction of Harlaxton Road and Springfield 
Road to create a safer junction for a new KFC drive-thru, 
was put back to 2014, 
much to the relief of town traders.

A Facebook picture of Grantham’s “G-town Legend” George Garrett produced thousands of likes, comments and shares.

The clean-up of Grantham Canal began…after the Journal had highlighted the amount of rubbish in the water along a picturesque stretch near the Ramada hotel.