Review of the Year 2019: May

PUBLISHED: 12:01 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 27 December 2019

PC Wardell and Finn impressed the judges with mind-reading tricks. Picture: ITV

PC Wardell and Finn impressed the judges with mind-reading tricks. Picture: ITV

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May kicked off with the local council elections which saw Stevenage Borough Council remain comfortably under Labour control.

Reece McCullagh on his charity run from John O'Groats to Land's End. Picture: Reece McCullaghReece McCullagh on his charity run from John O'Groats to Land's End. Picture: Reece McCullagh

The Conservatives lost two seats - including party leader James Fraser - while Labour and the Liberal Democrats made small gains.

In North Herts, Conservative leader Lynda Needham lost her seat in Letchworth South West by the barest of margins, after literally drawing the short straw.

Under election rules, when two candidates receive the same number of votes after several recounts, the matter is settled by the drawing of straws.

In remarkable scenes, Ms Needham lost out after a dead heat with the Liberal Democrat's Sean Prendergast.

Liberal Democrats celebrating their four gains at the North Herts Local Election 2019. Picture: Simon JarvisLiberal Democrats celebrating their four gains at the North Herts Local Election 2019. Picture: Simon Jarvis

Away from politics, Stevenage man Reece McCullagh set off on his 30-day charity run from John O'Groats to Land's End - a distance of nearly 1,000 miles. In total, the plasterer and decorator raised more than £3,000 for mental health charity Mind,

Retired police dog Finn and PC Dave Wardell wowed the judges on Britain's Got Talent, reaching the grand final.

During their audition, PC Wardell shared the story of how Finn was almost killed during a police chase in Stevenage - an event which led to a landmark change in animal welfare protection, known as Finn's Law.

In sad news, Hitchin's Penco Fine Arts and Crafts store ceased trading after 23 years in Hermitage Road. The store - which had previously provided balloons for Strictly Come Dancing sets - closed after the retirement of owner Jeff Howard, who said he would "miss the market, and seeing customers face to face."

Penco in Hitchin closed its doors for the last time after 23 years in Hermitage Road. Picture: Jeff HowardPenco in Hitchin closed its doors for the last time after 23 years in Hermitage Road. Picture: Jeff Howard

Running club Hitchin Hares ran the town's annual 10k in memory of teenager Luke Hobson - who tragically died at Blueharts Hockey Club in March, following an accident during a training session.

Luke's father, Peter Hobson, is a member of the Hares and chose to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance after their amazing efforts trying to save Luke's life.

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"I'm very proud to be running as a Hare and raising as much as I can for the air ambulance", Peter said at the time. "We're so grateful for all they did to try to save Luke, and we want to do everything we can to help them."

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