REVIEW OF THE YEAR: December 2017
We take a look back through The News archives over what has been another exciting year
The Queen praised the Royal Navy’s new £1.3bn aircraft carrier and declared it ‘the best of the British.’
Wearing a purple outfit, the monarch arrived on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at Portsmouth Naval Base using a specially-installed lift to bring her up to the hangar for the occasion.
In a speech to 3,700 guests, she trumpeted the abilities of the navy when she said: ‘Like HMS Victory, HMS Queen Elizabeth embodies the best of British technology, a true flagship for the 21st century. The most powerful and capable ship ever to raise the White Ensign, she will in years and decades ahead represent the country’s resolve on the global stage.’
Councillor Ken Ellcome, the Mayor of Portsmouth, added: ‘This has been a great day and it was really exciting to meet the Queen for the first time.’
Traffic police numbers could be cut as police fight pressure to slash millions from their budget, The News was told.
Olivia Pinkney, Hampshire’s chief constable, vowed to maintain the neighbourhood policing in the coming year but said specialist departments were being looked at in the wake of a £10m shortfall.
Mrs Pinkney said: ‘We are not looking at cutting local policing, response and neighbourhood, nor are we looking at investigations.’
John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, said the proposals were a ‘devastating blow.’ He said: ‘Sadly roads policing is often seen as nice-to-have rather than an essential, and to cut even further means that the chance of being caught committing crime on the roads will be reduced.
‘This is not a good thing for the travelling public.’
A disgraced sailor has forced to leave the navy and jailed for a year after conning dozens of people in a £6,700 football ticket scam.
Victims of John Bayne’s devious scam hit out as they were left distraught. Bayne would message fans looking for Premier League tickets on Facebook and Twitter saying he could get them. His 47 victims were spread across the world, including places such as Cornwall, Israel, Poland and Singapore. Victim, Danielle Colley, 20, said she bought Manchester United tickets from Bayne for her boyfriend to make his ‘lifelong dreams come true.’
She said: ‘My heart sank. I thought I was going to be sick. I read through the numerous messages saying I had been scammed and I burst into tears. ‘The wounds of that day cut deeper and deeper knowing I lost that money.’
Miss Colley branded Bayne a ‘disgusting excuse of a man.’ Bayne was jailed for a year.
The city council could face a bill of millions of pounds to pay for cladding improvements after a government U-turn.
Approximately £10m is needed to remove and replace cladding to Horatia House and Leamington House in Somers Town, in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.
Council leader Donna Jones offered reassurance when she said: ‘Portsmouth City Council is in ongoing negotiations with the Department for Local Communities and Government around the cladding issue.
‘We have been given specific instructions about the cladding removal and all of it will be removed by February.’