What made the news in our region this year?

In the first of a two-part series, KATE SCOTTER looks back at the events which made EDP headlines in 2010.


? The year started off as 2009 had ended with bitterly cold temperatures and snowy weather. More than 350 schools across Norfolk closed for two days as up to four inches of snow fell on the county and many events were cancelled. Bin collections were abandoned and the transport network was thrown into chaos as buses were delayed, train companies put on emergency 'snow services' and motorists struggled with the conditions.

? Norfolk County Council councillors agreed to controversial plans to switch off up to 27,000 street lights across the county between midnight and 5am, despite claims it would lead to a surge in crime. Council bosses said the scheme would save �167,000 each year and cut the council's annual carbon emissions by about 1,000 tonnes.

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? Norwich's landmark Marks & Spencer store, which has been in the city for 60 years, revealed plans for a major revamp, boosting its size by more than a third and creating dozens of new jobs.

? The EDP urged planning inspector Neil Taylor to 'just get on' and dual the final stretch of the A11. A public enquiry was due to close at the end of the month, almost 40 years after dualling the main road in and out of Norfolk was first mooted by Edward Heath. The EDP called for action for the sake of the region's economy and for safety's sake.


? Former Norwich City Council housing boss Kristine Reeves, who was sacked for her part in the Greyhound Opening scandal, spoke publicly for the first time about her regrets over the 'homes for staff' saga. The former head of neighbourhood and strategic housing, who was on a �62,000-a-year wage, admitted she made a mistake, but had paid a heavy personal price for it.

? Frozen food giant Bird's Eye ended its pea production in Norfolk and Suffolk after 64 years. The industry was worth more than �5m a year to growers in the region and farmers' leader Richard Hirst was given the shock news in a brief telephone message.

? A question mark was hanging over the future of Norfolk's councils, with Labour-led Norwich City Council hoping to be granted unitary status. Political rivalry was put on hold at the end of the month when council leaders Steve Morphew and Daniel Cox united to back Norwich's bid to be the first UK City of Culture.

? A campaign to cut rail journey times between Norwich and London was launched. The Norwich in 90 Campaign was backed by MPs, councils and business leaders, and presses for rail improvements, including reducing typical travel times to the capital from 1hr 50mins to 1hr 30mins.


? Sheringham continued its long-running battle against supermarket giant Tesco's plans for a store in the seaside town, while campaigners in Long Stratton were forced to accept that plans for a bypass were dead in the water due to funding issues.

? Norfolk was confirmed as one of the safest places to live in the UK as the county's police force was praised for performance and value for money. Meanwhile, Norfolk's new chief constable Phil Gormley spoke of the need to develop a style of policing tailored towards the demands of a rural county.

? One of Norfolk's biggest landlords Michael Billings pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court to 14 breaches of fire and health and safety regulations which led to a blaze at one of his properties, nearly killing a young woman.


? Election fever dominated headlines in the run-up to the general election on May 6. David Cameron paid a visit to the county, backing the campaign to dual the last remaining single carriageway stretch of the A11 and pledging to scrap unitary status for Norwich.

? Planes across the country were grounded after a volcano erupted in Iceland. The volcanic ash cloud prevented nearly all flights, including from Norwich International airport, from entering or leaving the UK for days, wrecking travel plans and leaving thousands stranded.

? Drivers also faced misery as petrol prices soared to 120p a litre, but Norwich City fans had something to celebrate as the Canaries topped the League One table and won promotion to the Championship at the first attempt.


? The Tories won the lion's share of the general election but fell some way short of a Commons majority, paving the way for a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

? Thousands of people who took advice from Norwich and Peterborough Building Society got caught up in the collapse of investment company Keydata.

n The Queen's Speech following the general election explicitly set out plans to reverse moves to create a unitary council in Norwich.

? City College Norwich announced plans to axe more than 100 members of staff as part of package to save �2.8m following a �6.55m shortfall in funding over the next three years.


? A quiet Norfolk village was in shock after husband and wife Sue and David Venn, both in their 60s, were shot outside their home in Nordelph, near Downham Market. They were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life threatening.

? Chancellor George Osborne's first Budget unleashed a �40bn package of extra spending cuts including a controversial rise in VAT to 20 per cent and the new coalition government announced plans to scrap quango the East of England Development Agency.

? It was not all bad news, however, as Norfolk basked in sunshine for the Royal Norfolk Show and food, farming and rural businesses were set to get a �10m funding boost.


n Lifeguards issued a warning over beach safety after new figures revealed that there were 100 major incidents on the county's beaches last summer, including a drowning at Great Yarmouth.

n Norwich's hopes of becoming the first UK City of Culture were dashed after being pipped at the post by Northern Ireland's Londonderry. Norwich had made it to the final along with Birmingham and Sheffield after seeing off competition from 29 other cities.

n Young people joined forces with redundancy-threatened workers and union activists in a last-ditch bid to save careers service Connexions from drastic cuts. Norfolk County Council cut the service's funding in half, leading to 65 job losses. The service had been described as a 'lifeline' for young people.

n Norfolk County Council and Norfolk police were in talks over plans to scrap speed cameras. The government had withdrawn a �440,000 road safety revenue grant, which the county council used to fund the Safety Camera Partnership.

n The county mourned the death of radio legend Roy Waller. Tributes flooded in after the 69-year-old, who was known as the 'voice of Carrow Road' for more than a quarter of a century, lost his battle with a long illness. The commentary box at Carrow Road was later named after the much-loved radio presenter.


n The murder trial of John Moody following the deaths of Karen Brown, 39, and Ken Snell, 65, was held at Norwich Crown Court. A jury of seven women and five men took less than two hours to convict Moody, who denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The former owner of sandwich shop Baguette Express was jailed for a minimum of 30 years.

n Big crowds welcomed back the II (AC) Squadron and supporting units based at RAF Marham following their tour of Afghanistan. About 2,000 people clapped and cheered as the RAF heroes arrived home in Swaffham.

n The county's teenagers did their best to enhance their prospects as they combined to post the county's best-ever set of A-level results – and the biggest year-on-year increase for five years. Despite the bumper outcome, students still faced a battle to win a university place, with as many as 180,000 expected to miss out.


n Norwich's Open Academy in Heartsease moved into its new multi-million-pound building while Thetford's new academy, Thetford Learning Trust, opened its doors for the first time just days after being given the go-ahead by the government. Elsewhere, Ormiston Victory Academy Costessey opened in the former grounds of Costessey High School, as did Ormiston Venture Academy at Oriel High in Gorleston and King's Lynn Academy in the former The Park High.

n There was a mixture of pride and sorrow when families of fallen Royal Anglian heroes gathered as a memorial was officially revealed at the Duxford Imperial War Museum. The ceremony came after more than �350,000 was raised through an EDP-backed fundraising campaign, launched after nine members of the regiment were killed in the 1st Battalion's 2007 tour of Afghanistan's Helmand province.

n Norfolk proved it is a world-class place to stage a sporting event as tens of thousands lined the route of the Tour of Britain cycle race. Race officials claimed the crowd was the biggest seen on a stage of the Tour as the county hosted the event for the first time. One hundred professional cyclists pedalled their way along a 118-mile route from King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth via Norwich.


n The EDP celebrated its 140th anniversary with a week-long of special features, an exhibition at Norwich Cathedral and the unveiling of an EDP train, the EDP140.

n The government gave the green light to the completion of the dualling of the A11 at Elveden in its spending review. Meanwhile, bus operators on some of the region's more rural routes were set to face a blow after chancellor George Osborne announced a 20pc reduction in the bus service operators' grant from 2012.

n Norwich City Council bosses defended a decision to sign a deal with stricken contractor Connaught just days before it went into administration.


n Directly-provided and council-run meals-on-wheels services were to be scrapped in Norfolk as part of a shake-up. Norfolk County Council proposed to withdraw from the market to tempt other providers to the county and broaden the coverage of meals-on-wheels.

n Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital launched its Cots For Tots appeal to raise �500,000 for vital equipment for its neonatal intensive care unit. More than 850 babies are cared for at the unit each year, but demand is rising and it needs to expand. At the moment it can look after 28 babies at any one time, but, as one of only three specialist neonatal units in the entire eastern region, it can often be full.

n The county went into mourning again after news broke than turkey tycoon Bernard Matthews had died aged 80. Tributes flooded in for the turkey company founder who coined the slogan 'bootiful'.


n Norfolk froze as temperatures plummeted. Snow fell at the start of the month, the earliest covering for 17 years, and temperatures plummeted to an all-time low of minus 17 degrees. The cold snap continued for much of the month, with temperatures struggling to get above freezing. Motorists across the county struggled to cope with the conditions and the county's transport network was thrown into chaos.

n A united message from thousands of people across Norfolk was delivered to 10 Downing Street as a large delegation headed to the capital to hand in a petition of 36,751 signatures urging the government to save RAF Marham.