Review of the year - December
THE whole world was saddened by the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing on Thursday, December 5.
Tributes poured out from every corner of the earth including Stroud, where South African-born county councillor Brian Oosthuysen, who represents the Rodborough ward, described Mr Mandela as a ‘great human being’ and credited the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize-winner with creating a nation at ease with itself after decades of white minority rule.
Stroud District Council opened a book of condolence in tribute to Mandela and the flag at Ebley Mill was lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect.
The controversial badger cull in west Gloucestershire was called to a halt three weeks before schedule after it became clear even a reduced target would not be met.
The original six-week pilot scheme was extended by eight weeks after marksmen only killed around 30 per cent of the badger population – well short of a 70 per cent target.
Stallholders were in uproar after the district council announced controversial plans to put the town’s award-winning farmers’ market out to tender.
However, after mounting pressure to withdraw the tender after 2,000 members of the public signed a petition against the move SDC decided to scrap the plans.
The Door Youth Project received a royal visit from the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, who met youngsters benefiting from counselling, education, training and family support programmes at the charity’s drop-in centre and offices in Stroud High Street.
Hundreds got into the festive spirit by taking part in goodwill evenings in towns and villages across the district. In Stroud the atmosphere was buzzing with seasonal excitement and Christmas cheer amid a carnival atmosphere.
SDC pledged £300,000 to be spent on improvements to the multi-storey car park at Merrywalks, and a severe weather warning of heavy rain and strong winds for Gloucestershire threatened Christmas travel plans.
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