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TOP STORIES FROM SEPTEMBER

 

HOT TOPICS UPDATED THIS MONTH:

Audit - Town Twinning

 

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RECORD NUMBER OF
GREEN FLAGS

A record number of parks and green spaces collected Green Flag Awards this year as Keep Britain Tidy announced its winners for 2017. The award is a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park that meets the highest standards. One council achieving Green Flag status for the first time was WARMINSTER in Wiltshire for its Town Park. On 28 July the mayor, Cllr Rob Fryer, hoisted the flag up a newly installed flagpole, and told supporters: “It’s a great honour for the town council to have the park recognised in this way after owning it for such a short time.”

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HIGHWAYS MAINTENANCE

GILLINGHAM Town Council has become the first authority in Dorset to take over control of some of the maintenance work on its highways. Under a “Working Together” deal with Dorset County Council, the council will be responsible for clearing gullies in flood prone areas, road sweeping and cleaning kerbs on certain roads. Gillingham has also used funding from Southern Electric Power Distribution’s Resilient Communities Fund to purchase equipment to help protect the community and improve communications during an emergency. The fund is intended to improve resilience in extreme weather events.

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COMMUNITY PRIDE ON
SUFFOLK DAY

LEISTON Town Council in Suffolk organised a “Tidy the Town” event on 21 June to mark the first ever Suffolk Day. The idea was to give local organisations an opportunity to hold events and show pride in their county. Nearly 40 people turned out to demonstrate their support, including local Scouts and Guides, and carry out a tidy up of the town. Afterwards, participants were served with drinks and cake. Local shops and businesses displayed posters and donated refreshments and equipment for future use.

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NEW VILLAGE SIGN

PEASMARSH in East Sussex unveiled a new village sign on 15 July. The sign was designed by pupils of Peasmarsh Primary School and created by engineer and designer James Walters. The project was co-ordinated by Peasmarsh parish councillor Celia Pollington and funded by the parish council. According to clerk Catherine Hellen, it reflects the history and landscape of the village while also giving it a new focal point.

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CLERK GIFTS COUNCIL
BADGE OF OFFICE

Alan Whittaker, the long-serving clerk to HESKIN Parish Council in Lancashire, had a surprise for members at the August meeting: he presented the council with a chairman’s badge of office that he had commissioned and paid for himself from Thomas Fattorini Ltd of Birmingham. The badge bears the crest of James Pemberton, who founded Heskin School in 1597. Cllr Angela Bamber, parish council chair, said: “This was a wonderful surprise and I am honoured to be the first chair of our parish council to wear such a beautiful and significant badge of office.”

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NEW PLAY EQUIPMENT

Cllr Karl Tomasin, deputy mayor of YATE Town Council in Gloucestershire, officially unveiled a set of new play equipment at the Abbotswood Precinct on 15 July, the same morning as the Abbotswood Community Picnic. A wooden snake and five log hops form the first stage of a project to create an informal play area, following consultations with local people by community group Abbotswood Action. The cost of £1,800 was met by contributions from Cllrs Ian Blair, Tony Davis and Gloria Stevens. More grant funding will be sourced in the future to build on the scheme.

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NEW FLAG FLIES OVER
TOWN HALL

THAME in Oxfordshire raised its new flag outside the town hall on 26 July. The town council organised a community competition to design the flag. The winner was Hazel Mann, who received a bouquet of flowers and joined the mayor, Cllr Tom Wyse, for the flag-raising ceremony. The flag incorporates the council’s colours with part of the town’s emblem – featuring a double transverse cross with a wheatsheaf and a pair of wool shears – on the left-hand side, and three waves signifying the countryside, the Phoenix Trail and the River Thames on the right.

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CHECK-UP FOR QUEEN’S SWANS

The mayor of MARLOW in Buckinghamshire, Cllr Jocelyn Towns, and her deputy Cllr Chris Funnell hosted David Barber, the Queen’s Swan Marker, and other Royal Swan Uppers at the town’s Two Brewers pub on 18 July. The Swan Uppers, who wear the scarlet uniform of Her Majesty The Queen, had just completed their work on the stretch of the River Thames from Sunbury Lock to Marlow. Each year they travel along the river in traditional rowing skiffs, together with Swan Uppers from the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies.

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FREEMAN HONOUR FOR
CEMETERY VOLUNTEER

ANCASTER Parish Council in Lincolnshire made Cllr Andrew Newton an honorary freeman of the parish in July and has named a new extension to the local cemetery “The Newton Meadow” in his honour. A parcel of land was gifted for use as an extension in March 2009, but there were legal, practical and financial challenges to overcome, including planning and other approvals, the scope of works and hiring contractors. Cllr Sayer said: “Andrew Newton took this on almost single-handedly and put in significant time and effort on a purely voluntary basis.”

 

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