Brantham burghers tops!

RESIDENTS, volunteers and parish councillors have been praised by a parish council chairman after learning that his council had been named parish council of the year.

BRANTHAM'S burghers are tops!

That was the message as the Suffolk village's parish council were named parish council of the year.

Residents, volunteers and parish councillors were praised by council chairman after learning that his community leaders had won the plaudit.

Jim King, chairman of Brantham Parish Council, said the award of SALC's (Suffolk Association of Local Councils) Gavel as parish council of the year had come as a complete surprise.

He said: "I'm very pleased but to be perfectly honest I didn't even know we were being considered for it. It cam out of the blue. But it recognises what we have done something and it's a tribute to all the efforts of people in the village."

Mary Mitson-Woods, SALC chief executive, said: "Brantham is an outstanding parish council that understands its full potential to identify and fund initiatives that make life richer for parishioners.

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"It is inclusive of both established and new residents from all age groups and is making every effort to be in touch with them all to identify their needs.

"There is a culture that the clerk and councillors will take training and personal development seriously in order to get the best for Brantham.

"It is a beacon of what a modern parish council can achieve whilst still providing value for money."

In the last few years Brantham has campaigned for, contributed funding for and achieved a roundabout to be installed at an accident blackspot on the A 137 near the Cattawade Bridge, where teenager Amy Potter was killed in traffic accident.

It has also carried out a village appraisal and produced a community action plan to identify the needs of the village. It is considering producing a welcome pack for newcomers and is currently undertaking a survey of the need for affordable housing in the village.

The council grant aids the village hall, the churchyard and the BASC (Brantham Athletic and Social Club) playing field, funds bus shelters and noticeboards and actively manages the environment.

It has also undertaken a survey of all parish paths, produced two foopath leaflets, installed a kissing gate and improved access to the river. The village also has a millennium wood, Pattles Fen, which is managed as a wildlife conservation area.

Brantham will be presented with its award in October, at the award ceremony for the village of the year, which this year is Coddenham.

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