REVIEW OF 2014: July to December

editorial image

Here’s part one of our look through the stories that made the headlines in Boston in 2014...

July

l Fourteen suspected paedophiles were arrested in Lincolnshire as part of a nationwide operation to safeguard children.

The operation targeted people allegedly accessing indecent images of children online. Police were unable to provide any further details.

l An actor from Fishtoft bagged a role on ITV’s long-running soap Coronation Street.
Ian Crossley was set to star as Peter Barlow’s cellmate for a few months.

l Shops in Boston were sharing mugshots of known offenders with each other in a bid to kick offenders out of the town’s High Street.

The move, called Facewatch, formed part of the Shopwatch scheme.

l People who spat in the street were warned they could face a £75 fine. Boston Borough Council said it was going to clamp down on the habit and make spitting in public illegal.

l Princess Anne visited the Stump as for the launch of its consultation on a bold £2 million development plan.

l Teaching ‘legends’ Richard Anderson and Nigel Wainwright (above) announded they were to retire from Boston Grammar School after five decades of teaching.

l A Boston mum feared for the safety of children after her daughter found a discarded needle in their garden.

August

l Police launched an appeal following an alleged ‘sexually motivated’ attack on a woman in Boston’s Liquorpond Street.

l The Dragon Boat Festival got under way despite heavy wind and rain - but then had to be called off after several gazebos were blown over, which injured a member of the public.

l HMP North Sea Camp defended itself following an expose by Channel 4 News - which ran a report on UK prisons, including a number of allegations about the Freiston Shore open prison.

l A tiny Lhasa-chi puppy called Tyson was fighting for the title of Britain’s Smallest Dog. The puppy, owned by Rosemarie McLinden, of Keal Cotes, measured just five inches long at nine-week’s old - much smaller than the other puppies in its litter.

l MP Mark Simmonds announced he was resigning from his foreign office role at the Government.

The Conservative member for Boston and Skegness announced he would not stand for the next General Election, stating the role was having a negative impact on his family.

l An elderly Boston woman was burgled while she slept in her own home.

The 94-year-old Horncastle Road resident was left ‘traumatised’ by the incident, which saw the offender making off with two handbags and bottles of alcohol.

l Residents clashed over proposals for The Quadrant in Wyberton - with the cases being put for and against the development.

September

l Roadworks seemed to conspire against Boston, with several taking place across the area - including a six-week project to build a cycle lane.

The works also coincided with an experiment to ban right turns from South End onto John Adams Way.

A spokesman for bus-firm Brylaine waded in to say the works held users in a ‘vice-like grip’ and complained they had not been contacted.

The works also reignited people’s passion for a bypass with one person starting a new petition for one.

l Neil Hamilton announced he had applied to be selected as UKIP’s General Election candidate for Boston and Skegness.

He said he was ready to ‘fight like a tiger’ to win the seat for the party.

He later pulled out of the race prior to the selection vote.

l There were more people on the GP books than in the population figures according to NHS statistics – about 14,500 people more.

There were 79,171 registered patients in the borough and only 64,600 people on the 2011 census.

The huge gap was partly put down to the migration of patients who had moved away and not taken themselves off the books – however, NHS bosses could give no definitive answer to the change.

October

l The Boston Standard launched the Save Our Services campaign after fears were raised by plans for big NHS cuts at Pilgrim Hospital.

Following a warning of a £365 million-a-year deficit concerns were raised that both maternity and A&E could form part of planned cuts.

The Standard launched its campaign, along with other papers in Lincolnshire, to ask hospital bosses to leave Pilgrim Hospital alone.

A spokesman for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said that no decisions had been made, but pointed to proposals which could see A&E’s ‘reclassified’ as ‘emergency centres’ or ‘major emergency centres’.

l The launch of the poppy appeal at East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre was made more poignant by the commemoration of the 100th anniversary since the start of the First World War.

Hundreds of people turned out to see the launch which included taxi-runs in ‘Just Jane’ the centre’s Lancaster Bomber, which was joined by another from Canada later in the year.

l A national newspaper was forced to apologise to a Boston mum after her picture was used by a reporter who carried out a ‘sting’ on a Government minister.

The Sunday Mirror reporter used a picture of Charlene Tyler, of Boston, sunbathing, as part of a fake persona to get former minister Brooks Newmark to send sexually explicit pictures.

November

l A thief was branded ‘disgusting’ after stealing a poppy appeal collection box during a chip shop burglary.

Shane Bradshaw, the owner of Ted West’s Fish and Chip shop on Eastwood Road, Boston, said he believed his charity boxes were why his shop was targeted.

There was also a box for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Coastguard and Mr Bradshaw believed there was about £200 in them.

l In other news, ram-raiders made off with a cash-machine after smashing their way into the Co-op store in Kirton.

A farm teleporter was one of several stolen vehicles used by the gang, who police believed to be experienced in the type of crime.

There was structural damage to the building and it is believed the suspects fled the scene in a white pick-up truck which was later recovered.

l A schools meals firm was served with legal notice to stop serving food after authorities claimed it was breaking the law by continuing to operate after going into liquidation.

It later transpired Food 4 Thought GB had a new name, Ideal Catering Group, and council bosses thrashed out a deal with bosses so it could continue its business.

A joint statement said the company had done everything asked of it.

December

l As the chancellor prepared to make his autumn statement, a campaign group revealed that if Boston was funded in the same way as Scotland it would bring an extra £131 million to the area.

The Campaign for an English Parliament said Boston got £2,034 less per head in public spending than the Scots.

Even if the area was given at least the UK average it would get an extra £43 million.

The report caused council leaders to call for the same deal for the area.

l The town showed its community spirit with events across the town commemorating last year’s December 5 floods.

Council, community and business bosses praised the work that had been done since the disaster, while a variety of events celebrated people’s resilience.

In Wormgate, businesses came together for a special event called ‘Wormgate Bites Back’ and the council launched an eerie advert using CCTV and the flood warning from the night.

l The town’s latest plans to deal with street drinking were brought in, but fears it wouldn’t be enforced came to the fore.

Boston Borough Council voted in favour of a ban for the town centre, which will mean anyone found drinking in the designated area could find themselves arrested if they don’t stop or surrender the drink when asked to do so by a police or council officer.