Ham & High’s top stories of 2015 – January

I compiled an overview of the top stories making the news in Ham & High  for each month of the year. This was published in print as a 5-page spread on December 31st 2015.

Front page stories:

The year didn’t start well for the NHS in their downward spiral of issues ensuing throughout the year. Politicians and campaigners warned it was “just the start of an NHS at breaking point” as between October and December 2014, the Royal Free A&E delivered its worst performance rates in five years. Government targets of 95 per cent were missed for seeing patients within 4 hours. Whitehall A&E also missed targets and Haringey, Camden and Barnet suffered ambulance response times at a record high. (the original can be viewed here)

Tony Blair’s former spin-doctor Alastair Campbell was in an altercation with a member of the public in a Hampstead street. The incident was partially captured on CCTV. Campbell claimed the 61-year-old man spat at him and said “The biggest piece of **** I’ve ever seen in this street,” as he walked by. Campbell is seen shouldering the man. The man contacted West MP George Galloway who tweeted out the incident to his hundreds of thousands of followers. (The original can be viewed here)

Lighthearted: Blind rock climber Red Szell won Hampstead Heath Pond Highgate Lifebouys swimming race. This was his first competitive swimming race. Over 130 swimmers took part in three races in the iciness of 5C (41F) waters for the annual Christmas Day event. (The original can be viewed here)

Controversy: In other pond news, naturist John McPartlin wrote to the paper calling the City of London ‘sexist’ due to allowing men to fully strip off at the Hampstead Heath but restricting women to only going topless. (The original can be viewed here)

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