Review of the year: November

A drop in centre became the first victim of the gradual close down of Letchworth Garden City Council. The centre had been meeting once a week at the council s offices in Leys Avenue but were given a week s notice after being told it was closing down. Jack

A drop in centre became the first victim of the gradual close down of Letchworth Garden City Council. The centre had been meeting once a week at the council's offices in Leys Avenue but were given a week's notice after being told it was closing down. Jackie Nealon, who started the centre, said she would fight to keep the centre running anywhere in Letchworth GC saying: "Some of the people who use the centre are very vulnerable and it is sad to see them. But we need to help them and care for them because they are at risk."

Spurs and England striker Jermain Defoe certainly got a kick out of visiting Stevenage when he attended the Tottenham Hotspur Soccer School at Round Diamond School. Defoe talked to children and signed autographs after watching 60 youngsters being put through their paces.

Fearnhill School headteacher Jed Whelan, 48, put his best foot forward when he competed in the 10-mile Great South Run raising funds for the Dame Kelly Holmes charity the DKH Legacy Trust. Ms Holmes had made a special appeal to Mr Whelan to run after she had been a guest at the school. "I have promised to do some winter training before deciding if I run the London Marathon," said Mr Whelan afterwards.

The future of a town's off-licence was in the balance after a probe by police into under age children being served alcohol there. On two occasions a sting operation by Trading Standards saw 16-year-old girls being served alcohol. The owner of the Grange Wine Store, on The Parade, Letchworth GC, was eventually rapped across the knuckles by North Herts District Council and ordered to bring in a number of strict recommendations in order to keep his license.


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Prince Harry tucked into a royal feast with Army friends at Nando's on the Stevenage Leisure Park The 25-year-old Royal ate with Army air Corps mates who were having a break from duties at RAF Henlow. The prince showed he had an appetite eating a chicken breast fillet pitta with corn on the cob and a chicken breast fillet wrap with a lemon and herb marinade. It was all washed down with a bottle of Sagres beer. Despite being offered the meal on the house he insisted on paying the �14.60 bill but did ask for a 20 per cent discount which the restaurant chain offers to military personnel.

The horror of 22,000 new homes being built across Comet country hit the headlines after it was revealed officers and councillors from Stevenage Borough Council and North Herts District Council had met privately to discuss where thousands of new homes could be built in order to meet Government targets set out in the East of England Plan, which was published in May last year.

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Hertfordshire County Council announced it was opposing a multi-million pound rail flyover plan by Network Rail between Hitchin and Letchworth stations after a petition from residents saying they lives would be made a misery by construction traffic. Cllr Stuart Pile, portfolio holder for highways and transport at County Hall said: "While we support the idea, we are concerned about the construction issues. The number of lorries is considerable and the roads are quite narrow. We want to see if they can import the materials in other ways, such as by rail."

Spectators who went to a firework event to celebrate Christmas lights being switched on in the centre of Letchworth GC got a shock when burning materials began falling on them. The display eventually had to be halted after people complained about the debris and several had to be treated by St John ambulance staff at the event organised by Letchworth garden City Town Centre Partnership. One small girl had a hole burnt in her coat. The Partnership said the event was curtailed for safety reasons saying problems were caused by the wind.

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