Dear Farnham resident

It is that time of year when I find myself spending some time reflecting on 2013 and looking at some of the year’s achievements and events.

It has been a good year for Farnham Town Council, and also for me; some of the highlights include the progress we have made on our Neighbourhood Plan. This is the document that will provide a vision for how our town and villages should be developed over the next 12 years. My thanks to everybody who has contributed their views and their expertise so far.

We are also proud to be building on the heritage of Farnham as England’s craft town. Farnham Town Council is working with craft-based organisations in the town to encourage people to visit and to take advantage of all that our rich artistic community and creative history has to offer.

Summer in Farnham was fun. As well has being blessed with some lovely warm weather and sunny days, there were entertainments and activities galore. Thirteen Sunday afternoon ‘Music in the Meadow’ concerts in Gostrey Meadow entertained residents and visitors from miles around. We also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, with the unveiling of a permanent memorial on the northern riverside wall of the Farnham Maltings.

Throughout the year, food has been a common theme in the events’ calendar. The monthly Farmers’ Market, Picnic in the Park, the marvellous Farnham Feast of Food in September and our many wonderful places to eat put Farnham firmly on the map as something of a food destination.

I am sure you will agree that the floral displays around town have looked wonderful this year. A lot of hard work goes into our entry into Farnham in Bloom. The competition is about more than flowers, with judging including environmental factors and community involvement. I was pleased that our efforts were rewarded with two gold awards for our Large Town and Best Town Centre entries. I was also delighted that a special award was given to the Post-19 Group, which is a local group that offers community-based programmes for young adults with learning difficulties. Next year will be even more exciting as we have been nominated to take part in Britain in Bloom.

As Mayor, I have had the pleasure of awarding community grants totalling over £53,000 to local organisations. For me, visiting Farnham’s many groups and organisations has been a revelation. The community groups, and the volunteers who run them, are the lifeblood of Farnham and it is they who contribute greatly to making Farnham a place where people can be proud to live.

On behalf of councillors and staff of Farnham Town Council I would like to wish you all a peaceful, happy and prosperous new year.

Yours sincerely Cllr Paddy Blagden Mayor of Farnham

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