Here's what happened in May 2017:

COMMUNITY activists protested against a visit to the Concorde Club in Eastleigh by controversial politician Nigel Farage, writes Laura Sore. Close to the club, there were also 65 flags European Union flags lining the road to the venue. Campaigners gathered outside the club where they protested against An Evening with Nigel Farage, which cost £63 for non-members of the club. Activists told the Daily Echo that he “stirs up hatred” and division, and they were protesting to spread an alternative message.

OWNERS of a popular play park feared it could be driven out of existence by repeated vandalism attacks. The Pleasure Park in Southampton Sports Centre was targeted by vandals five times in just over a month with Fred and Gary Salter saying they may be forced to close if the attacks continue. In one incident vandals cut through a fence to gain access then ransacked the site. A large figure of a dog, which was bolted to a bench, was stolen and the bench smashed to pieces.

THERESA May visited the Daily Echo as she hit the general election trail in Southampton. She vowed to get the best possible deal for the city if the Tories gain the “strong hand” they need to steer Britain through Brexit. Mrs May, 60, described the forthcoming poll as the most important in her lifetime. During her visit Mrs May warned that negotiations with other EU leaders would be “tough” but vowed to fight for the best possible deal for the UK – including Southampton. She outlined her determination to secure a reciprocal agreement that would allow Poles and other foreign nationals living in the city to remain. She also praised the Echo’s contribution to the campaign against fake news, saying it was vital to ensure that young people in particular had access to accurate information and highlighting the role played by highly-trained journalists on local papers.

SCENES for the new blockbuster Star Wars film were shot in Hampshire. Production crews and actors working on the Star Wars spin-off, which had the working title Red Cup, had been filming at Fawley Power Station. The film makers kept tight-lipped about the location and the plot of the big budget movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo as well as Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Woody Harrelson. But locals welcomed the filming, which came two years after Mission Impossible 5 was partly shot at the same location. Few details of the scenes to be shot at Fawley have been released, but a port sequence was also filmed. The film is scheduled to be released in May 2018.

CONTROVERSIAL bin collection changes will be a “nightmare” and cause an unpleasant time for Southampton, angry city councillors said. Weekly bin collection were set to end in the city in a bid to save millions of pounds and bosses say they aim to recycle 36 per cent of the rubbish it collects. But residents and councillors have complained and Conservative David Fuller told the Daily Echo the plans could cause major problems and bring an increase in fly tipping. He said: “In the first few months we are going to see bin bags on streets, rats and vermin, and it is going to be an unpleasant time in the city.”

HAMPSHIRE residents were warned to be vigilant after a suicide bomb attack left 22 people dead in Manchester. A lone bomber detonated a homemade device packed with nuts and bolts in the foyer of the Manchester Arena as thousands of young people were leaving a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande. Mourners lit candles, laid flowers and held a minute’s silence to remember the 22 people killed. The peace vigil at the Peace Fountain in East Park was organised by the city council in memory of the victims who lost their lives. Southampton city councillor Satvir Kaur, told the crowd at the event this afternoon: “It is humbling to see so many people here of all ages and backgrounds. “We stood here after brutal attacks in Paris, Orlando, the murder of MP Jo Cox, and now to show solidarity with the great city of Manchester and its people.”

A CROOKED Hampshire car dealer who conned scores of customers was facing jail after a Daily Echo investigation. The Echo helped uncover the dodgy dealings of Richard Burbage who has been found guilty of five charges of fraudulent trading. The Echo took up the story following complaints from angry ex-customers who were sold faulty cars and were refused refunds. A jury at Salisbury Crown Court returned guilty verdicts on five charges of fraudulent trading which included clocking car mileages, giving false descriptions of vehicles, failing to deliver vehicles, forging vehicle documents, falsifying warranties and failing to give refunds. Hampshire Trading Standards launched a major investigation after receiving hundreds of complaints about Burbage and his associate Stan Rudgley, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.