Year in review: December

…and it snowed and snowed and Thurrock ground to a halt. After years of mild winters with just a couple of days of snow in February, we suddenly faced two major weather fronts in December. The schools closed, Lakeside had to close early and found footfall down by 33%. Sports events were wiped out (even cross country!) Many other ploughed on, such as care homes and meals on wheels.

Many Thurrock residents did a huge amount for charity. In December, hairdresser, Laura Thompson undertook a bushtucker trial at the Oaks pub in Grays. Laura plans to walk the Inca trail in Peru in May. So far Laura has raised £2k.

Labour settled the borough’s budget. Many were impressed by the growing partnership between John Kent and Graham Farrant. Certainly, the two Conservative MP’s agreed. Meanwhile the Conservative councillors, wounded by Chaffrica and Winegate looked peripheral.

A very sad story is that of missing dementia sufferer, Michael Forrest, 63, who was last spotted at Lakeside.

The Royal Opera technical facility opened in Purfleet with the premiere of Ludd and Isis. The Thameside panto was great

Controversy over Basildon hospital refused to go away.

Quarry Hill primary came out of special measures and St Mary’s in Tilbury achieved perfect scores in their SATS tests.

Our Christmas stories include the birth of a goat at the nativity scene at Thurrock Garden Centre in South Ockendon.

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