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A year in life of the Bailiwick: a review of 2009

Take a look back at the stories that were making the headlines in the Bailiwick during 2009.

With discussions about the islands' waste, strike action at the airport, Sark's new government and 'gollygate' there was plenty in the news.

In sport follow the successes of Heather Watson and Alison Merrien and re-live the clashes with the old enemy.

Take a look back through the archives for a month by month review of the biggest stories of the year.

January

Long before swine flu was dominating headlines around the world a winter flu crisis hit Guernsey, described as "the worst outbreak for years".

Sark's newly elected conseillers were sworn in following the island's controversial and historic general election the previous month.

HMS Daring, the new Royal Navy type 45 air defence destroyer affiliated to Guernsey, made her first visit to the Bailiwick.

It saw the end of 'gollygate' as a vote of no confidence in deputy chief minister Bernard Flouquet was defeated in the States. In December 2008 he had told a racist joke at a press conference, but after several apologies he was given a formal telling off by the States.

The month ended with good news for parents, pupils, staff and campaigners as two schools, St Sampson's Infants and St Andrew's Primary, were saved from closure by a vote in the States.

February

Several inches of snow forced the closure of all schools, caused difficulties for emergency services, and chaos ensured at the airport where some staff could not get to work, but it also allowed the child inside most of us to come out.

Alderney faced an energy crisis as supplies of heating oil fell so low that Alderney Electricity feared the lights could go out within days.

The States of Guernsey rejected the idea of paid parking, instead they slapped 1.2 pence on a litre of petrol.

And a syndicate of taxi drivers won a million pounds in the first lottery draw for Les Bourgs Hospice. Mark Walters was one of the cabbies who shared in the bonanza and he was the over the moon!

March

It began with the shock news that children as young as 13 were turning to Drug Concern for help after taking legal highs.

Guernsey's effort to avoid being placed on a global tax haven black list stepped up a gear ahead of the G-20 summit meeting.

The States of Guernsey agreed to introduce a minimum wage in the island.

Alderney's tidal power pioneers claimed they could produce the same amount of electricity in local waters as a nuclear power station.

North won Guernsey's inaugural Senior County League Division One title after beating rivals Belgrave Wanderers 2-0, the division title being changed from the Priaulx League.

April

Ten patient beds at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Guernsey were forced to close due to staff shortages.

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay were named the wealthiest people in the Channel Islands according the Sunday Times Rich List.

Plans for a new £400,000 skate park at Beau Sejour were unveiled.

Chris Simpson became the British under-23 squash champion.

Guernsey beat Henley to secure the HA Trophy for the first time.

Alison Merrien won the World Indoor Bowls Championships women's singles title and became the world number one.

May

The second Bank Holiday weekend was dominated by the sudden closure of Guernsey Airport when pay negotiations with the airport's firefighters broke down and they withdrew cover.

This caused upset for thousands of passengers and led to the Public Sector Remuneration Committee resigning en masse in protest at the way the deadlock was broken.

Guernsey lost both the Siam and Muratti Vase clashes against Jersey in the islands' biggest weekend of sport.

Plans for a mass performance of Sarnia Cherie at the 65th anniversary Liberation Day were announced, with hopes for more than 1,000 singers.

Hosts Guernsey finished second in the ICC World Cricket League Division Seven, behind Bahrain and ahead of Gibraltar, Japan, Nigeria and Suriname, earning promotion to Division Six. Legendary umpire Steve Bucknor officiated at the games.

Amy Ponte, 13, won the island's women's golf title.

June

June began with Deputy Mary Lowe calling for a tribunal of inquiry into the previous month's events that finally broke the airport firefighters' dispute over pay and conditions.

Guernsey Dairy turned a profit for the first time in four years, with the company putting it down to a review of gate prices.

The first case of swine flu was reported in Guernsey with authorities believing the man had caught it on a visit to the Americas.

The Bailiff was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and three other islanders were appointed MBE.

July

The States of Guernsey voted 32 to 12 in favour of building an energy-from-waste plant to deal with the island's waste.

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu rose to 10.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the Bailiwick for the first time and made a whistle stop tour of all the islands over two days.

Heather Watson broke into the senior women's rankings for the first time in her career after winning the AEGON Pro Series tournament in Frinton.

Guernsey finished fourth at the 13th Island Games, held in Aland and won a total of 21 golds, 12 silvers and 27 bronze medals, with too many individuals and team successes to mention.

August

In a quiet month the area around the bathing pools in St Peter Port was made an alcohol-free zone by Guernsey Police.

Lee Savident was the star of the Guernsey cricket team as they beat Jersey in the annual inter-insular clash.

As the Guernsey Special Olympics secure a haul of medals Jamie Bichard, the island's only entrant in cycling, caught the eye of Olympic selectors.

September

A report from the Wales Audit Office said there are fundamental problems with the way Guernsey is governed.

Liberation Day in 2010 was made a bank holiday, the first time the States has ever done so.

Heather Watson became the first Briton to win the US Open girls' singles title.

More good news in sport as Priaulx took his first win of the World Touring Car Championship, Steve Dawes won the first Guernsey Marathon for 17 years and Matt Le Tissier was named the island's sporting hero by a survey of youngsters.

At the same time Le Tissier admitted to a failed spread betting attempt during his time at Southampton in his autobiography.

October

The UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies were told to improve standards of regulation, and find new methods of raising tax following a review.

The States agreed to more than £1.6m of new services, including a domestic abuse strategy, to be introduced in 2010.

Plans to upgrade Guernsey Airport's runway, costing £81m, were approved by the island's States.

Hundreds of items from La Seigneurie , the ancestral home of the Seigneur of Sark, went under the hammer.

November

New rules governing how the States manages and spends taxpayers' money were agreed.

Almost one in 10 of Guernsey's schoolchildren went absent with flu-like symptoms, as vaccinations for swine flu began to get underway.

The import and export of "legal highs" for personal as well as commercial purposes was banned in Guernsey.

The baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games visited the Bailiwick on its way to its final destination of Delhi.

December

A busy month to end the year saw a deal reached between the airport firefighters and their employers, the announcement that the postal market would be opened to competition, and the clinical block completed.

Plans for a skate park at Beau Sejour were again agreed, with those behind the plans hoping it will be completed this time round.

The Channel Islands Christmas lottery reached an all-time high jackpot figure, while a syndicate from a leisure centre won £1m after the delayed draw of Les Bourgs Hospice lottery.

Heather Watson ended the year on a high after being named player of the year.

There was also some good news for boxer Matt Jennings as he was not given a long-term ban from the sport after being found guilty of possession of class A and B drugs in October.




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