Our look back at 2013, part one.

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JANUARY

A quick-thinking 11-year-old saved his mum from the possibility of plastic surgery after she was showered with scalding water.

Debbie Pyett, from Sandon, was checking the engine of her BMW car when the expansion tank lid flew off, splashing boiling water on her face, arm and hand.

Her son, Tommy Kane, quickly gathered snow from the ground and dabbed it on the wounds while they waited for paramedics.

“Doctors said had it not been for Tommy putting snow on me, the damage would have been a lot worse. I would have needed skin grafts and possibly plastic surgery to my face,” said Debbie, who suffered minor burns to her arm and face.

“I’m so proud of him, if he hadn’t been there it could have been a lot worse.”

Also in the news:

- Calls were made for Burns Road in Royston to be made a priority gritting route after it turned into an “ice rink” during freezing conditions

- Residents of Melbourn started a campaign, Melbourn Housing Development Awareness Campaign, to encourage people to have their say on South Cambridgeshire District Council’s plans for new housing in the district.

FEBRUARY

Villagers started a campaign to get a piece of common land registered as a village green after it was put up for sale.

The land, behind Windmill Close in Barkway, was put on the market by its owner, North Herts District Council, and residents feared it would fall into the hands of developers.

Nick Dear, of Windmill Close, said: “This section of land has been used by residents and visitors to the area for the last 20 or 30 years.

“We want to protect this area for future generations to enjoy and prevent another piece of green space and village life being developed for profit.”

The group set up a petition, and wrote letters to the district council, opposing the sale of the land.

Also in the news:

- Pensioners were left horrified when a vital bus route, the 90/91 serving Ashwell and Royston, was being cut. The service was eventually preserved after the intervention of Cllr Tony Hunter.

- Melbourn councillors hit out at highways contractor Balfour Beatty, after they were left in the dark about over-running street-light repairs

MARCH

Royston Town Council announced it was to take over the running of the town’s market.

The council had been running the market as an agent of North Herts District Council, but a new scheme saw them assume full control in exchange for them receiving car-parking revenue.

Though the market had been running at a loss, Cllr Bob Smith, then leader of Royston Town Council, said: “With the additional revenue we are receiving from car parks, we are confident it will run at almost break-even from day one.

“You’d have to have blinkers on not to appreciate that the market has been in decline lately, despite many people’s best efforts, and we’re confident we can turn it around.”

Also in the news:

- Troubled retailer Store 21 shut the doors of its Royston shop, sparking fears it was closing for good. However, the shop re-opened the following week.

- A bridge or underpass were suggested to ease traffic congestion and safety fears at the problematic Foxton level crossing. Network Rail pledged to carry out a feasibility study on a new crossing.

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