Another busy year keeping readers up to date with the latest news

By Tristan Harris Sunday 29 December 2013 Updated: 02/01 16:35

AS WELL as bringing you the latest news, sports and entertainments in 2013, we have also been at the centre of a number of community events and fund-raisers.

Kind-hearted Standard readers helped send 120 seasonal shoeboxes to UK servicemen and women based abroad to help give them a better Christmas and Bromsgrove, Rubery and Droitwich businesses which took part in our Remembrance feature helped raise £300 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

We also supported the Day of Kindness, Primrose Hospice’s Lights of Love and other campaigns, the town’s first ever MidwinterFest and much more this year.

There have been some memorable news stories in 2013.

The year started in controversy when we broke the news that Bromsgrove District Council was considering not replacing the bridge at the bus station, but, after the issue was highlighted and pressure was put on from a councillor and the public, a new walkway was installed across the brook.

Coun Roger Hollingworth and the then Labour leader, Coun Peter McDonald, caused a stir in March when they claimed parish councils were not value for money and should be disbanded.

In August, we ran a front page exclusive highlighting the plight of the Verve martial arts club which was in danger of closing over a planning wrangle with Bromsgrove District Council. After mo - but it was all resolved in October when the planning committee overturned the officers’ recommendation and voted unanimously to let the club stay because of the good work it did in the community.

And in October, there was uproar when it was revealed the district council was not going to replace the toilets at Bromsgrove Cemetery.

We have also reported on some positive news as well in the last 12 months. In 2013, driving tests returned to Bromsgrove for the first time in 17 years and the new war monument to all members of the armed forces, past and present, the emergency services and others, was unveiled at Crown Close and was used for the first time on Remembrance Sunday.

There was also the town’s first Midwinterfest which was attended by hundreds of people and plans are already underway for an even bigger and better event in 2014, along with, possibly, a Christmas market.

Some of the big stories in Droitwich included the fire at the Robert Wisemans Dairy, the plans for the conversion of the Raven Hotel into a bar/restaurant and homes and ideas being mooted for a moveable roof on the town’s Lido.

Among the positive pieces in the last 12 months in the Spa have been that the once famous Chateau Impney Hill Climb car rally could return to the town, the Norbury Theatre celebrating 50 years and that Droitwich’s first Food and Drink Festival was held and was hailed a great success.

Another aspect of our reporting which has exceeded expectations has been our online presence. The Bromsgrove Standard website has received around 590,000 hits in 2013, compared to around 250,000 in 2012. Our social networking pages - www.facebook.com/bromsgrovestandard and @BromStandard - have certainly helped with many residents getting their news on a daily basis on their phones or other mobile devices.

Our social networking has also helped rehouse abandoned animals. Of the 35 cats and dogs featured on our Facebook page over the last 12 months, an incredible 34 were found new homes.

We are looking to doing more of the same in 2014 and would like to wish our readers a very happy new year.

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