REVIEW OF 2013: DECEMBER

This is The West Country: Geoffrey Counsell (right) with his lawyer outside Bristol Crown Court. Geoffrey Counsell (right) with his lawyer outside Bristol Crown Court.

THE case against fireworks boss Geoffrey Counsell dramatically collapsed at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Counsell had been accused of breaking health and safety laws over a display he organised at Taunton Rugby Club on the night seven people died and dozens were injured, in a nearby motorway pile-up in November 2011.

A TAUNTON building which once housed a snooker hall and before that a nightclub could be knocked down to make way for a block of flats, it was revealed in December.

The former Rileys bar had closed in November 2012, but plans were unveiled for a new development of 39 one-bedroom flats and 11 two-bedroom apartments.

SOMERSET County Council announced it had accepted Avon and Somerset Police's offer to buy the county's speed cameras.

Chief Constable Nick Gargan said switching the cameras back on - they have been out of action since 2010 - would make the county's roads safer at no public cost.

TRIBUTES were paid to super-fit Royal Marine Aaron 'Tiny' Winter, who collapsed in the gym at Norton Manor Camp and later died in hospital.

Colour Sergeant Winter, aged 39, joined the Marines in 1996 and was assigned to a number of units, including 40 Commando, deploying on operations to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

SOMERSET College unveiled plans for a multi-million pound halls of residence campus in Taunton.

The college said it hoped the development, for 200 student living units on its playing fields off Heron Drive, Bishop's Hull, would boost the local economy, but people living nearby raised fears there could be parking problems.

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