Farnham Town Council is proud to be the only local council in the south east to have been longlisted for ‘Council of the Year’ in the National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) Star Councils’ awards.

To reach this stage, the Town Council had to provide the judges with evidence of how it has excelled in six key areas of enquiry. These included service delivery, communications, maintaining effective relationships, developing staff and councillors, working beyond expectations and winning an award or recognition.

Some of the more notable examples included how Farnham Town Council stepped in to chair a community liaison group when the relationship between the operators of a landfill site and residents broke down, increasing income from sponsorship by 300% over three years and volunteering hours by 40%. The Town Council also shared how it has pioneered a scheme that allows the community to invest in Farnham. The initiative now generates £60,000 cash, 14,000 volunteer hours and significant in-kind support, which has enabled Farnham Town Council to enhance its annual programme of 40+ free events and activities.

Councillor Carole Cockburn, Leader of Farnham Town Council says: “The Star Councils awards play a key part in NALC’s call for more power to be devolved from Whitehall to England’s towns and villages. This is the third year we have entered the awards and we have no end of examples demonstrating how some services are best provided by the council with local knowledge.

“As well as producing a Neighbourhood Plan that received overwhelming endorsement from the people of Farnham, we have also empowered volunteers to take on projects that are needed and wanted by the community. In addition, we have collaborated with the Probation Service to offer community payback opportunities and have offered to take on services for the borough and county where we believe we can add efficiencies and value. As a Town Council, we are committed to being a strong voice for Farnham and ensuring that the town and its surrounding villages have the best possible future.”

There are six categories in the Star Council awards. NALC was inundated with hundreds of nominations showing the range of work that is being undertaken at neighbourhood and community level.

The winners in each category will be announced at the Star Councils’ 2017 Awards Ceremony on 30 October 2017.

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