Review of the year - January

Stroud News and Journal: Graham Furley holding the letter informing him about his New Year Honour which he received just days before being burgled Graham Furley holding the letter informing him about his New Year Honour which he received just days before being burgled

FIVE Valley folk received a very special start to their new year as many were named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Rotarian Graham Furley, founder of renewable energy supplier Good Energy, Juliet Davenport and chief executive of the Wildfowl & Wetland’s Trust at Slimbridge, Martin Spray were among those honoured.

However, Second World War pilot, Mr Furley, 91, was the victim of a despicable burglary just days after being awarded the honour for years of ceaseless charity work.

Items stolen included a commemorative Spitfire watch, which was kindly replaced by a watchmaker later in the month.

The SNJ launched a campaign calling on secretary of state Eric Pickles to intervene and appoint a government inspector to determine the highly controversial Javelin Park incinerator planning application.

It encouraged readers to add their names to an online government e-petition and write to Mr Pickels urging him to call-in the proposal.

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael was forced to justify his tax-payer funded trip to the Antarctic after a backlash from constituents.

The Conservative MP – who introduced a private member’s bill calling on the UK to ratify its environmental obligations to the Antarctic – took part in a nine-day trip with foreign office officials and member of the British Antarctic Survey.

Mr Carmichael brought the cold weather back with him as the big freeze hit the Five Valleys.

Schools closed, drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles were sent home early when around four inches of snow fell and temperatures plummeted to minus six degrees.

Meanwhile Stroud was identified as one of the key ‘battleground’ constituencies by the Labour Party ahead of the next general election, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust launched an appeal to safeguard a woodland once owned and adored by Laurie Lee in the Slad Valley and youngsters took part in The Door Youth Project’s annual Undiscovered Youth Talent Contest.

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