Review of the year: October, November and December

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 December 2017

Picture by Shane Gillard.

Picture by Shane Gillard.

Shane Gillard.

This year may be best remembered for two controversial subjects – the overnight closure of Weston A&E and parking. But 2017 was also filled with the generosity of strangers, people taking a stand in campaigns and well-attended events. But here is what happened in October, November and December.

The thrilling beach race returned. The thrilling beach race returned.

October

• Proposals to convert Alexandra Parade into a bus interchange and alter the road layout were announced after £5million was secured for the project.

• The Mercury revealed the Italian Gardens project had ended up £200,000 over budget.

• The derelict Cliffs Café went up in flames. Fire investigators said the fire was caused deliberately.

• Weston Woods was added to the Centenary Fields programme to ensure the space is protected due its role in World War One. Around 80 per cent of the wood’s trees were cut down to shore up the trenches.

• England cricketers flocked to East Brent to watch Ben Stokes get married.

• The Mercury launched its Cleaner Coastlines campaign to achieve plastic-free coastline status for the town by completing five objectives. Since the launch, one 
objective is complete, and two will be finished by the new year.

Spirit of Winter, Griffins CC. Spirit of Winter, Griffins CC.

November

• The first restaurant at the long-awaited Dolphin Square development opened its doors, when popular chain Nandos served its first customers. Pizza Express, Costa Coffee, Luda bingo soon followed. A cinema will open in January.

• The Mercury launched its Books For Schools campaign, to stock school libraries with new books. The first recipient was Mendip Green Primary School.

• Four out of five of all North Somerset parking tickets were handed out by traffic wardens in Weston, the Mercury revealed.

• Public space protection orders to crack down on dog fouling, skateboarding and antisocial behaviour came into force.

• Sunshine Hospital Radio station celebrated after raising £20,000 to replace out-of-date equipment.

• The UK’s biggest ice rink, Icescape opened at the Tropicana.

• The hospital scanner appeal reached £300,000 of its £400,000 target.

Runners in fancy dress gather for Weston Athletic Club's 10K Christmas Cracker race. Runners in fancy dress gather for Weston Athletic Club's 10K Christmas Cracker race.

December

• Housing groups geared up to fight the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan, which shows where houses may be built up to 2036. It includes plans for garden villages on the outskirts of Banwell and Churchill with 4,700 homes in total – but may pave also the way for a Banwell bypass.

• Weston Railway Station was listed by Historic England.

• The Mercury revealed how birds on Steep Holm island were feeding plastic to their chicks and were becoming trapped in trees because of beer can holders.

• Five Mercury readers won £500-worth of jewellery vouchers each to spend at Caboodle as part of the late-night shopping events.

• Alcohol-related crime tied to Weston’s night-time economy fell for the third successive year.

• Weston Town Council announced a proposed 12.3 per cent precept rise for 2018. North Somerset Council is proposing increasing council tax by 1.99 per cent, along with a three per cent adult social care levy next year.

• A Christmas light display for charity on the Oldmixon estate was destroyed by vandals. Criminals also targeted The Strawberry Line Café in Yatton.

Other News Stories

An ex-heroin addict who claims Weston-super-Mare ‘saved his life’ is calling on schools to educate youngsters about the dangers of substance abuse.

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Youngsters from four Weston primary schools combined to perform a show about crime prevention.

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07:00

‘Significant concerns’ about the state of special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision in North Somerset have been raised in a report, with parents slamming the ‘horrific’ service.

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More than 400 GCSE students took part in a showcase of culinary expertise and butchery.

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Bristol Airport has been named the best in Europe.

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Yesterday, 18:00

Young runners have raised hundreds of pounds at a primary school’s Race for Life event.

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Yesterday, 17:00

Children from two primary schools put their creative skills to the test to design penguins for the Feathers McGraw exhibition.

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Yesterday, 16:00

Holidaymakers parking on residential streets to avoid fees at Bristol Airport are causing ‘huge issues’ for villagers living in Cleeve.

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Yesterday, 15:00

A town councillor is urging Weston Town Council to support community groups to preserve Worlebury Hill Fort.

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Yesterday, 13:00

A Weston-super-Mare dog owner whose pets infuriated neighbours has been forced to pay hundreds of pounds in court for failing to stop her dogs barking.

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