Review of the year 2017: October

PUBLISHED: 12:11 30 December 2017

A view of the red 'Ophelia sun' as seen from Welwyn Garden City at 14:30. Picture: Danny Loo

A view of the red 'Ophelia sun' as seen from Welwyn Garden City at 14:30. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The aftermath of Storm Ophelia caused a ‘red-sky phenomenon’ to cast over Hertfordshire in October.

Erica Buckingham swam 100 metres as part of her challenge. Picture: Kat Buckingham.Erica Buckingham swam 100 metres as part of her challenge. Picture: Kat Buckingham.

As Saharan dust swept across the country, many speculated whether the apocalypse was upon us.

The west was the most affected by the storm itself, with west Wales and Ireland being among the worst.

For us in Hertfordshire, many photographers took the opportunity to get some snaps of the sepia skies.

However, for many, the end of the world took the form of the so-called ‘brown bin tax’, which NHDC cabinet members voted for in October.

The boys with staff from the neo-natal ward which they were raising cash for. Picture: Martin ElveryThe boys with staff from the neo-natal ward which they were raising cash for. Picture: Martin Elvery

Starting in May next year residents will be asked to pay a £40 annual charge for the discretionary service of emptying garden waste bins despite 85 per cent of respondents to the public consultation disagreeing with the decision.

Since then residents and opposing councillors have spoken out via our letters page, as well as calling in the decision to overview and scrutiny.

As it stands, the charge will be going ahead in conjunction with Urbaser starting a new contract with NHDC and East Herts Council – who voted against the charge.

Also in October, four-year-old Erica Buckingham was inspired by an episode of Apple Tree House on CBeebies – which focused on children living in an inner city council estate collecting clothes for refugees – to take on a triathlon to raise money for Save the Children.

Erica ran 3km in Stevenage’s Hampson Park, scooted 3km at Fairlands Valley Park and swam 100 metres.

Inspirational Erica raised more than £1,600 for her chosen cause.

Boys from Brandles School in Baldock also inspired us when chief reporter Martin Elvery joined them at the neo-natal ward at Lister Hospital, where they took part in a charity cycle challenge to raise money for the ward.

The school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties also used this trip to highlight their new scheme – in partnership with Education Learning Skills & Achievement – which involves a series of projects to get the boys out and about talking to people, as well as getting involved with good causes.

More news stories

A neighbour called the police this morning after witnessing a man trying to break into a home with a hammer.

A 26-year-old man from Hitchin has been arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent and drink driving.

09:03

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash with a van on the A602 in Stevenage this morning, police have confirmed.

08:28

Parents in Central Bedfordshire have a 99 per cent chance of getting their children into their preferred secondary school – the best admissions rate in England, according to an Education Policy Institute report.

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