Review of the year: September

IN September, the chairman of Bedfordshire FA resigned over a racist email, nursery children were branded racist, and a Hitchin woman was hailed a heroine for standing up to the London rioters.

• AN OPEN air music festival, headlined by X Factor finalist Danyl Johnson, was held at Ashwell’s Elbrook Meadow in memory of a well-known landlady.

Claire Stanley, the former landlady of The Three Tuns in Ashwell, died from cancer in June last year.

ClaireFest raised money for The Claire Stanley Trust, which was set up in memory of the 48-year-old by her family, with the aim of raising funds to provide cancer treatment, care and research.

• HITCHIN-born Pauline Pearce was dubbed the Heroine of Hackney after berating rioters for their actions.


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A video appeared on YouTube of her condemning London rioters, attracting millions of hits.

“Apparently President Obama made a speech about brave types of women, using myself as an example,” said the former Hitchin Girls’ School and North Hertfordshire College student.

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• ARLESEY Town Council chairman Hugh Harper, who was suspended from office over his conduct, resigned from his position, with five councillors quiting in support.

The move came after Central Bedfordshire Council’s standards sub-committee suspended Mr Harper from the town council for four weeks.

“The sub-committee decided that on a number of occasions Cllr Harper failed to treat staff employed by Arlesey Town Council with respect, contrary to the town council’s code of conduct,” said a spokesman.

• PROPOSALS for election boundary changes revealed constituencies in Comet country could change, with Nadine Dorries’ Mid-Bedfordshire seat possibly scrapped.

The shake-up, announced by the Boundary Commission, proposed to remove Ms Dorries’ ward, splitting the areas it covers between a new Letchworth constituency and an amended Hitchin and Harpenden.

• THE chief executive of Bedfordshire Football Association resigned after spreading a racist joke via email.

Peter Brown forwarded the offensive email to two other people from his work address in what he later called “an error of judgment” he sincerely regrets.

It came at a time when the FA had complained to UEFA about racist abuse from Bulgaria fans directed at England’s Ashley Young, who is from Stevenage, and Theo Walcott during the Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia.

• IT WAS revealed that nursery children, who are no older than four, were being branded as racist by teachers.

In two nursery schools in North Hertfordshire, pupils were reported to the Local Education Authority for racism.

Concern was raised by the likes of the North Herts Minority Ethnic Forum that playground spats between children who are unlikely to understand the meaning of their words are being treated as hate speech.

• THE new �47 million surgicentre at Lister Hospital admitted patients for the first time. The vast majority of routine adult day-case surgery and short-stay orthopaedic procedures are intended to be carried out at the surgicentre, where there are six operating theatres and 26 inpatient beds.

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