Review of the Year: July

JULY saw school anger and racial tensions but also celebrations and selflessness.

* Millions of pounds worth of redevelopment work for Comet country schools was scrapped after the Government put a halt to the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Six secondary schools were told their plans could not go ahead, while another four were placed under review.

Herts County Council had secured �200m for school rebuilding work, but the new coalition government slashed the budget. A Hitchin headteacher called the cuts “savage”.

* A plan to convert a Stevenage pub into a Muslim community centre was met with threats of a march by the English Defence League.


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An anonymous Stevenage member of the group, which claims to be anti-extremist but is characterised by racism, said 1500 members would march through the town against the plan to redevelop the White Horse.

EDL leaders denied any knowledge of a planned march, as did the police.

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A leading Muslim in the area said it was their right to march peacefully, but said the group was not a threat to anyone.

* Thousands of music lovers basked in sunshine for the biggest ever Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin.

Around 30,000 people descended on Hitchin Priory for the two-day celebration of music, dance and culture.

More than 150 acts from around the globe played across six stages for the 18th festival.

* A park was turned pink when nearly 3,000 women turned out to run for Cancer Research.

Fairlands Valley in Stevenage changed from a scorched brown to a bright pink when the runners set off on a 5k Race for Life run to raise funds for the charity. An estimated �214,000 was raised.

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