Advertiser review of the year – July

When we started 2020, none of us were prepared for what the year ahead would hold. The events of the last nine months have changed all of our lives, but amid all the bad news there have been moments of hope and inspiration. We look back at a year unlike any we have seen before.

Hospitality firms and hairdressers were given some respite from tough coronavirus restrictions as they reopened their doors from July 4.

After three months of closure, places like pubs, cafes, restaurants and gyms were allowed to trade again, albeit with social distancing and other safety precautions in place.

It was not long before the Government made it mandatory for customers to wear masks in shops though, with the rule enforced a few weeks later, from July 24.

As restaurants and pubs carried on battling COVID-19, celebrity chef Tom Kerridge blasted customers failing to turn up for bookings, branding them ‘disgraceful’.

Despite the pandemic continuing throughout the summer, there were reasons for people to enjoy themselves as the Holyport Show held a garden competition, and the Maidenhead Festival switched its performances to online.

Community collaboration was still in full effect, with volunteers from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club and GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead taking time out to clear Maidenhead’s waterways of weeds and litter.

Councillors were clashing at Zoom meetings, with Conservative councillor Chris Targowski and independent Jon Davey locking horns over the latter’s blog posts.

Cllr Targowski claimed that his colleague was spreading ‘disinformation’ by sharing COVID-19 conspiracy theories but Cllr Davey hit back, denying he gave active support to these ideas.

Elsewhere in the borough, the debate over the Battlemead Common ‘masterplan’ rumbled on as conservation groups said they were ‘dismayed’ by the council’s proposals for the Lower Cookham Road site.

A balance needed to be struck between opening the common up to people but also protecting wildlife. The council pressed pause on its plans later in the month, opening it up for more consultation.

In court, drug driver James Lavine, who knocked down and killed 13-year-old Maidenhead schoolboy Max Simmons in the town in December 2019, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison on July 16.

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