2011 Year in Review: February

Crime

The police launched www.police.uk which allowed you to see what crimes were being committed in your area. Like all crime stats, it begged more questions. Lakeside was down as the fifth highest crime hotspot (or street as it was described) in the country but you couldn’t find any of the other shopping centres to compare and contrast.

The bottom line is that the police have a deeply flawed reporting system.

We are always conscious of the crimes that we do not follow up. A £50,000 BMW was stolen in Purfleet.

And a young man called Darren Maeder was knocked down and killed in Purfleet. Two people faced court and we never followed it up. It is one of many areas where we say: Must do better.

Entertainment

We were delighted to see young Grays film director Simon Smith’s made his debut with a Channel 4 documentary: Welcome to Romford whilst it was good to see emerging musical talent such as Mackley Drive.

Our good friends at Thurrock Courts Players sold out three nights at the Thameside Theatre with “Not Now Darling”.

The singing showcase, YourVoice continued to grow under the guidance of Thurrock Music Services, Shana Elliot-Hayers.

Politics

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle Price made an important speech in the House of Commons about debt and made specific reference to the company Brighthouse in Grays High Street.

Cllr Sue Gray got in hot water after forwarding an e-mail that was interpreted by the police as being worthy of investigation in relation to inciting racial hatred. After a short time, there were no further proceedings.

Education

South Essex College ran an excellent 100 in 100 Apprenticeship system.

The schools continued to dominate the life of Thurrock with their energy, achievement and continuing excellence.

Hassenbrook put on a performance of the Wiz. Gateway Academy had a wonderful awards evening and an even better visit by education minister Michael Gove who was clearly impressed by the Tilbury school and William Edwards continued to have a number of high profile athletes come to speak.

A nursery in Bridge Road had its registration cancelled after a series of discrepancies.

Other Stuff

The long battle by the residents of Butts Lane against a Barratts development continued. It would run for the rest of the year and continued. It was led by community activist, Terry Piccolo, who continued to undertake sterling work for the borough, esp in the Stanford area and ended the year being the recipient for a civic award.

A Purfleet cat travelled for miles in the engine of a car.

Basildon hospital continued to be monitored closely by the government.

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